Mars Rover Update
1 Mar 2004
(Source: Jet Propulsion Laboratory)
SPIRIT UPDATE: Back to the Ol' Grind - sol 57, Mar 01, 2004
During its 57th sol on Mars, ending at 7:12 PST on March 1, Spirit observed the area on "Humphrey" that was thrice brushed by the rock abrasion tool. An area just to the right of the brushed area, where the team intends to grind, was also examined.
The morning hours found Spirit using its alpha particle X-ray spectrometer on the intended grinding target to verify its similarity to the pre-brushed areas of the rock. The arm then switched out tools to the microscopic imager to get close-up views of the grinding target and the area to the right of it. The Moessbauer spectrometer was then placed on the brushed area for another observation.
Panoramic camera images were taken of the rock abrasion tool magnets to study dust accumulation. The miniature thermal emission spectrometer performed a diurnal characterization on the nearby soil. This allows scientists to look at the temperature difference from day to night, revealing information about particle sizes within the soil.
Next sol, the plan calls for Spirit to grind into "Humphrey" and then use its arsenal of instruments to analyze the interior of the rock.
OPPORTUNITY UPDATE: Moving On - sol 36, Mar 01, 2004
Opportunity woke up to Sting's "Rock Steady" on its 36th sol on Mars, which ended at 6:54 a.m. PST on Monday, March 1. The rover completed an overnight alpha particle X-ray spectrometer measurement on "Guadalupe," retracted its arm, placed the Moessbauer spectrometer on the calibration target and then stowed its arm.
A series of backward drives - away from the "El Capitan" site in the outcrop - were then conducted.
The rover also got in some remote sensing, including miniature thermal emission spectrometer observations and panoramic camera imaging of the holes created by the rock abrasion tool. In addition, the panoramic camera took images of a crater to the east.
The plan for the next sol involves several short drives in the direction of the "Last Chance" target in the "Big Bend" area of the outcrop.