Mars Rovers Update
17 Mar 2004
(Source: Jet Propulsion Laboratory)
SPIRIT UPDATE: Spirit Digs with a Jig - sol 72, Mar 17, 2004
Sol 72, which ended at 5:06 a.m. PST on March 17, was a day full of digging for NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit. Spirit began the day taking panoramic camera and miniature thermal emission spectrometer observations of the drift dubbed "Serpent" before creating the "scuff" that would reveal the inside material at this location.
Then it was time to get into position. The rover drove about two-and-a-half meters (8.2 feet) to put the left front wheel up onto the drift. It then turned right and left five degrees to dig the left front wheel into the drift. When the "shimmy" was complete, Spirit backed 10 centimeters (3.9 inches) out of the hole. The digging and backing process was repeated four times to thoroughly scuff Serpent's side. Then Spirit backed up another meter (3.28 feet) to attain miniature thermal emission spectrometer, panoramic camera and navigation camera observations of the scuffed area. These observations will aid in in-situ target selection. To prepare for the upcoming in-situ work, Spirit drove forward 0.4 meters (1.3 feet) for additional imaging, and then drove forward a final 0.45 meters (1.5 feet) to put the scuff in the arm work volume.
Spirit spent the rest of the day obtaining navigation camera and panoramic camera observations of the intended drive direction around part of the crater rim. Spirit will do some work overnight, taking miniature thermal emission spectrometer thermal inertia and atmosphere measurements.
On sol 73, which will end at 5:46 a.m. PST on March 18, Spirit will conduct extensive microscopic imaging of sections of the drift, and run an overnight Moessbauer and alpha particle X-ray spectrometer integration.