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Daily Update - 3/27/07
Opportunity Begins Imaging of 'Cape of Good Hope'
Opportunity Status for sol 1118-1125

Opportunity is healthy and making progress on the imaging campaign of "Cape St. Vincent."

On Sol 1116, Opportunity experienced a fault due to a known but rare race condition in the flight software. This race condition fault has now occurred three times in 1,122 sols for Opportunity and three times in 1,143 sols for Spirit. Essentially, while the rover was booting up in the morning, two sequences were competing to complete first. The lower priority task was stopped by the higher priority task and when the former attempted to complete, it was locked out of the rover's memory. The software did as it is supposed to and threw up a red flag to programmers and awaited its next commands.

On Sols 1117 and 1118 were spent recovering the rover from the fault. Opportunity spent sols 1119 and 1120 resting since these sols fell on an Earth weekend (the project no longer has the resources to bring in a weekend sequencing team).

On Sol 1121, Opportunity drove to a position on the "Cape of Good Hope" to image the first half of a long baseline stereo image of Cape St. Vincent. On Sol 1123, Opportunity will bump 2.5 meters (8.2 feet) to image the second half of the Cape St. Vincent stereo image.

The remainder of the sols were spent obtaining remote sensing science.

Sol-by-sol summary:

In addition to Opportunity's usual observations of panoramic camera tau measurements, navigation camera bitty cloud scans (looking to the sky for clouds), miniature thermal emission spectrometer sky and ground stares, and panoramic camera sky spots, the rover also did the following:

Sol 1118 (March 17, 2007): On this sol, Opportunity recovered from the race condition fault.

Sol 1119: Opportunity rested this sol (weekend in Pasadena).

Sol 1120: Opportunity rested this sol (weekend in Pasadena).

Sol 1121: On this sol, the rover drove to the first eye position of long baseline stereo image of Cape St. Vincent (9.97 meters or 33 feet) and began imaging.

Sol 1122: The rover conducted remote sensing of atmosphere and soil properties on this sol.

Sol 1123: Opportunity bumped to the second eye position of long baseline stereo image of Cape St. Vincent (about 2.5 meters or 8.2 feet) and began imaging.

Sol 1124: On this sol the rover conducted a panoramic camera systematic soil and ground survey. The navigation camera was used in support of the miniature thermal emission spectrometer. The panoramic camera had a look at the horizon and the miniature thermal emission spectrometer assessed the foreground.

Sol 1125: Opportunity used this sol to look at the sky and ground with its miniature thermal emission. That instrument was also used to monitor for dust.

Current Odometry: As of sol 1121, Opportunity's total odometry is 10,295.50 meters (6.4 miles).

Daily Update - 3/23/07
Spirit Studies Rocks in Vicinity of
Spirit Status for sol 1141 - 1144

Spirit remains healthy and spent much of the week studying a new rock target on "Mitcheltree Ridge" called "Torquas." Scientists are trying to understand what relationship Mitcheltree Ridge has to "Home Plate" -- for example, whether it is an extension of Home Plate or an entirely different rock layer, and whether it has similar composition or morphology.

Torquas is nicknamed after a dried-up seabed covered with moss in the Barsoom science fiction saga by Edgar Rice Burroughs.

Sol-by-sol summary:

In addition to daily observations of atmospheric dust levels and surveys of the sky and ground with the miniature thermal emission spectrometer, Spirit conducted the following activities:

Sol 1141 (March 20, 2007): Spirit acquired panoramic camera images of Torquas, nudged closer to the outcrop, took post-drive images with the navigation camera, acquired images of the sky with the panoramic camera, and watched for dust devils.

Sol 1142: This was a runout sol, or Martian day, meaning the rover completed pre-loaded activities resulting from an only partially successful uplink of new instructions. The uplink was only partially successful because the rover's best-lock frequency was out of range. Runout activities included monitoring atmospheric dust, measuring light looking east and west, imaging the calibration target, and taking thumbnail images of the sky.

Sol 1143: Spirit acquired a 360-degree panorama of images with the navigation camera, stereo microscopic images of Torquas prior to brushing the surface with the rock abrasion tool, and more stereo images after brushing the rock. The rover placed the alpha-particle X-ray spectrometer on the rock and then collected data using the instrument.

Sol 1144 (March 23, 2007): Spirit's first planned task was to acquire panoramic images of Mitcheltree Ridge. Other planned activities included studies of Torquas using the Mössbauer spectrometer, surveys of layered outcrops known as "Zanor," "Banth," "Okar," and "Dor" using the miniature thermal emission spectrometer, and photometric measurements using the panoramic camera.

Odometry:

As of sol 1142 (March 21, 2007), Spirit's total odometry was 7,046 meters (4.38 miles).

Daily Update - 3/20/07
Spirit Loses, Re-Establishes Contact with Orbiter
Spirit Status for sol 1132-1140

Spirit is healthy but had to sit out a Martian day waiting to send data to Earth while the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter was in safe mode. Both the rover and the orbiter share the same X-band frequency with Earth and must coordinate communications. Ultimately, Spirit sent data to Earth while the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter was on the other side of Mars, out of reach of Earth.

Spirit drove 21.26 meters (69.75 feet) on the rover's 1,132nd and 1,136th sols, or Martian days, of exploration (March 10 and March 14, 2007), en route to rock targets on "Mitcheltree Ridge."

Sol-by-sol summary

Sol 1132 (March 10, 2007): Spirit touched a soil target with the Moessbauer spectrometer, acquired microscopic images, and surveyed the sky and ground as well as a vesicular basalt known as "Faye Dancer" using the miniature thermal emission spectrometer. The rover drove 10.2 meters (33.5 feet), took images with the hazard avoidance and panoramic cameras, and acquired a 360-degree mosaic with the navigation camera.

Sol 1133: Spirit began the day by imaging the sky with the panoramic camera. The rover then pointed the navigation camera at the surrounding terrain and acquired a movie in search of dust devils. Spirit surveyed the sky and ground with the miniature thermal emission spectrometer and monitored dust on the rover mast.

Sol 1134: Spirit searched for dust devils in the morning and spent much of the day engaged in remote targeted sensing. Spirit acquired full-color images of a knob known as "Pitchers Mound" using all 13 filters of the panoramic camera. The rover acquired images of an outcrop known as "Backstop" and conducted a survey of rock clasts using the panoramic camera. Spirit acquired data on targets known as "Shirley Jameson," "Connie Wisniewski," "Margaret Stephani," and "Tjanath" using the miniature thermal emission spectrometer. The rover monitored atmospheric dust using the panoramic camera and surveyed the sky and ground as well as targets known as "Phundahl" and "Panar" using the miniature thermal emission spectrometer.

Sol 1135: Spirit began the day by examining scattered light and searching for dust devils with the navigation camera. The rover surveyed targets known as "Ptarth" and "Thark," a large slab of rock called "Torquas," and the sky and ground with the miniature thermal emission spectrometer.

Sol 1136: Spirit's first task of the day was surveying the rover's calibration target and a target known as "Toonal" using the miniature thermal emission spectrometer. Spirit then drove 11.06 meters (36.29 feet) toward an outlying outcrop associated with "Home Plate" (called "outlier 2") and acquired post-drive images using the hazard avoidance and navigation cameras. The rover surveyed the sky and ground using the miniature thermal emission spectrometer.

Sol 1137: In the morning, Spirit acquired thumbnail images of the sky using the panoramic camera and acquired a movie in search of dust devils using the navigation camera. When Spirit did not receive the next day's instructions as a result of being unable to establish a link with Earth while the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter was in safe mode, the rover instead executed "runout" science activities for the first time in 321 sols. The pre-loaded runout activities included monitoring atmospheric dust, measuring light looking east and west, imaging the calibration target, and taking thumbnail images of the sky.

Sol 1138 (March 9, 2007): Spirit acquired full-color images of targets known as "Ompt" and "Shador" using all 13 filters of the panoramic camera. The rover studied Ompt, Shador, and additional targets known as "Zor" and "Zodanga" using the miniature thermal emission spectrometer. Spirit monitored atmospheric dust using the panoramic camera and conducted an argon experiment using the alpha-particle X-ray spectrometer.

Sol 1139: Spirit's first activities of the day included acquiring full-color images of Zodanga and Zor using all 13 filters of the panoramic camera and searching for clouds using the navigation camera. Spirit acquired hazard avoidance camera images and navigation camera images of potential scientific targets as well as a 360-degree view of the rover's surroundings using the navigation camera. Spirit monitored atmospheric dust using the panoramic camera.

Sol 1140 (March 19, 2007): Spirit took snapshots of the sky using the panoramic camera and acquired a dust devil movie using the navigation camera. The rover measured atmospheric dust, scanned the sky and ground using the miniature thermal emission spectrometer, and looked for clouds using the navigation camera.

Odometry

As of sol 1136 (March 14, 2007), Spirit's total odometry was 7,033.61 meters (4.37 miles).

Daily Update - 3/19/07
Opportunity Conducts Imaging and Diagnostics
Opportunity Status for sol 1112 - 1117

Opportunity is healthy and is positioning itself for long baseline stereo imaging of “Cape St. Vincent,” across the “Valley Without Peril.” Subsequently, the rover will drive northeast to the mouth of the Valley Without Peril for long baseline stereo imaging of the valley floor. On sol 1112 Opportunity performed another test of RAT (rock abrasion tool) grind operations. The test indicated the need to circumvent a portion of the flight software which is still trying to use the RAT’s failed encoder. The "patch" will be up-linked and tested this weekend.

On sol 1114 Opportunity attempted an 8-meter (26 feet) drive to a position on the west bank of the Valley Without Peril in order to image Cape St. Vincent to the east. The drive stopped after only a half a meter of progress because the rover failed to stay within limits placed on its heading by the rover drivers. A similar drive is planned for sol 1116.

Sol-by-sol summary:

In addition to Opportunity's daily science observations, which include a panoramic camera tau measurement and miniature thermal emission spectrometer sky and ground stares, the rover did the following:

Sol 1112 (March 11, 2007): On this sol, Opportunity conducted another RAT grind test, miniature thermal emission spectrometer 7-point sky and ground stares, panoramic camera high sun observation, an alpha particle X-ray spectrometer integration to look for Argon and panoramic camera sky thumbnail images.

Sol 1113: Opportunity used the instruments on its “head” (or panoramic camera mast assembly) to scan the sky and then used the panoramic camera to image the local foreground in 13-filters. The navigation camera was then used to prepare for miniature thermal emission spectrometer observations and to look for clouds.

Sol 1114: The rover began to drive south-southwest to the imaging position for Cape St. Vincent. The drive stalled due to Opportunity exceeding heading limitations set by rover drivers. A post-drive navigation camera image was shot for next drive.

Sol 1115: On this sol, Opportunity completed miniature thermal emission spectrometer sky and ground stares, navigation camera search for clouds, panoramic camera sky thumbnail images and panoramic camera mast assembly dust monitoring.

Sol 1116: Opportunity drove south-southwest to the imaging position for Cape St. Vincent and then completed a post-drive navigation camera mosaic for the next drive.

Sol 1117: On this sol, Opportunity calibrated the miniature thermal emission spectrometer and then used it to assess the local sky and ground. The navigation camera was used to look for clouds.

As of sol 1114, Opportunity’s total odometry is 10,285.53 meters (6.39 miles).

Daily Update - 3/12/07
Onward to the 'Valley Without Peril'
Opportunity Status for sol 1104 - 1111

Opportunity is healthy and continues its long baseline stereo survey of "Victoria Crater." The rover is currently perched atop the "Cape of Good Hope," making its way northeast to the mouth of the "Valley Without Peril."

On sol 1104 Opportunity performed an alpha particle X-ray spectrometer integration on the martian atmosphere. This is a long-term monitoring of the density of Argon in the atmosphere, looking at how the Argon/Carbon dioxide mixing ratio changes as the polar caps acquire and sublimate carbon dioxide.

On Sol 1109 the rover performed a preliminary test of a new method for rock abrasion tool grinds which does not rely on a failed encoder. Another test is scheduled for sol 1112.

Next week Opportunity will conduct an extensive long baseline stereo survey of the Valley Without Peril and "Cape St. Vincent." This will allow the team to perform a comparative analysis of other bays in order to continue characterization of possible ingress and egress points in Victoria Crater.

Sol-by-sol summary:

In addition to Opportunity's daily science observations, the rover also performs panoramic camera tau measurements and miniature thermal emission spectrometer sky and ground stares.

Sol 1104 (March 3, 2007): The rover took a color postcard panoramic camera image of "Cabo Corrientes," navigation camera imaging of the tracks, miniature thermal emission spectrometer 7-point sky & ground observation and alpha particle X-ray spectrometer integration on the atmosphere to look for Argon.

Sol 1105: On this sol, Opportunity drove 8 meters (26 feet) southwest toward the edge of the Cape of Good Hope. The rover then began the first half of a long baseline stereo panoramic camera image of Cabo Corrientes across "Golfo (Gulf) San Matias." The rover then completed navigation camera imaging for next drive.

Sol 1106: Opportunity conducted a panoramic camera horizon survey, looked for clouds with its navigation camera and monitored for dust. The rover also did a miniature thermal emission spectrometer 7-point sky & ground observation and a panoramic camera sky survey.

Sol 1107: On this sol, the rover drove 4 meters (13 feet) south-southwest and completed navigation and panoramic camera imaging for next drive. Opportunity then began the second half of a long baseline stereo panoramic camera image of Cabo Corrientes across Golfo San Matias. The panoramic camera then had a look at the sky.

Sol 1108: Opportunity drove 8 meters (26 feet) toward the Valley Without Peril, then used its navigation and panoramic cameras to image for the next drive. The panoramic camera looked at the sky.

Sol 1109: Opportunity conducted a rock abrasion tool (RAT) grind test, then the panoramic camera did a 13-filter foreground survey and took a mosaic of the rover tracks. The navigation camera imaged the tracks and then the miniature thermal emission spectrometer assessed the foreground.

Sol 1110: On this sol, the panoramic camera completed a 13-filter foreground survey and the miniature thermal emission spectrometer completed a 7-point sky and ground observation and foreground stare.

Sol 1111 (March 10, 2007): The rover drove 40 meters (131 feet) northeast to the mouth of the Valley Without Peril. Opportunity then did navigation and panoramic camera imaging for next drive. The panoramic camera also had a look at the sky.

As of sol 1108, Opportunity's odometery is 10,238.95 meters (6.36 miles).

Daily Update - 3/12/07
Spirit Studies "Home Plate" from the West
Spirit Status for sol 1125-1131

Spirit is healthy after wrapping up a week of remote sensing observations on the west side of the elevated circular plateau known as "Home Plate."

Sol-by-sol summary:

Sol 1125 (March 3, 2007): Spirit took images of darkness, when the panoramic camera is exposed to no light, for calibration purposes. Spirit acquired microscopic images of the dust capture and filter magnets and surveyed several targets known as "Lothar," "Manator," "Morbus," "Ombra," "Otz Valley," and "Pankor" using the miniature thermal emission spectrometer. The rover monitored atmospheric dust levels with the panoramic camera, surveyed the sky and ground with the miniature thermal emission spectrometer, and searched for clouds using the navigation camera.

Sol 1126: Spirit's first task of the day was acquiring panoramic camera images of the dune field known as "El Dorado." The rover then drove 3.5 meters toward "Home Plate," acquired images using the front and rear hazard avoidance cameras and navigation camera, and monitored atmospheric dust with the panoramic camera. The rover scanned the sky and ground with the miniature thermal emission spectrometer.

Sol 1127: The first thing in the morning, Spirit scanned the sky for clouds using the navigation camera. The rover surveyed the sky at high sun using the panoramic camera. Spirit scanned the sky and ground with the miniature thermal emission spectrometer.

Sol 1128: Spirit started the day by looking for Martian dust devils with the navigation camera. The rover re-acquired images with the front hazard avoidance camera and tested the switch on the contact plate of the Mössbauer spectrometer by touching the filter magnet with the instrument. Spirit acquired navigation camera images and a panoramic camera mosaic of Home Plate. Spirit acquired remote sensing data from targets known as "Irene Hickson," "Joanne Winter," "Bette Trezza," and "Carolyn Morris." The rover surveyed the sky and ground with the miniature thermal emission spectrometer and measured atmospheric dust levels with the panoramic camera.

Sol 1129: Spirit started the day by looking for morning clouds. The rover conducted a survey using the panoramic camera at high sun. Spirit scanned the sky and ground with the miniature thermal emission spectrometer and used the same instrument to acquire remote sensing data from targets known as "Anna Mae Hutchison," "Faye Dancer," "Dorothy Hunter," and "Velma Abbott."

Sol 1130: Spirit searched for morning clouds with the navigation camera and acquired images, using all 13 filters of the panoramic camera, of Home Plate. The rover also acquired data from targets known as "Fredda Acker" and "Jean Gilchrist" with the miniature thermal emission spectrometer. The rover took calibration images of darkness and monitored atmospheric dust with the panoramic camera. Spirit acquired data from a target known as "Betty Warfel" using the miniature thermal emission spectrometer.

Sol 1131 (March 9, 2007): Spirit took images of the sky with the panoramic camera and surveyed the sky and ground with the miniature thermal emission spectrometer. The rover acquired miniature thermal emission spectrometer data and panoramic camera images of a target known as "Evelyn Adams." Spirit took full-color images, using all 13 filters of the panoramic camera, of a target called "Joanne Winter." The rover acquired miniature thermal emission spectrometer data from targets known as "Bethany Goldsmith," "Betty Whiting," and "Melba Alspaugh." Spirit took panoramic camera images and prepared to spend the next morning acquiring two movies in search of dust devils using the panoramic camera.

Odometry:

As of sol 1130 (March 8, 2007), Spirit's total odometry was 7,012.34 meters (4.36 miles).

Daily Update - 3/8/07
Spirit Studies Rock Outcrops, Drives Near 'Home Plate'
Spirit Status for sol 1118-1124

Spirit is healthy and making progress on the return trip to "Home Plate." The rover headed north along Home Plate to fill in gaps in imagery left behind when Spirit rushed to find a winter haven.

Use of the rover's robotic arm remains on hold until more diagnostics can be performed.

Sol-by-sol summary:

In addition to daily observations that included measuring atmospheric opacity caused by dust with the panoramic camera, scanning the sky for clouds with the navigation camera, surveying the sky and ground with the miniature thermal emission spectrometer, and taking reference images of the sky, Spirit conducted the following activities:

Sol 1118 (Feb. 24, 2007): Spirit took panoramic camera images of rock outcrops "Dorothy Kamenshek" and "Olive Little" as well as Home Plate. The rover surveyed Olive Little and targets known as "Kamtol" and "Korvas" with the miniature thermal emission spectrometer.

Sol 1119: Spirit drove 7.94 meters (26.1 feet) toward Home Plate, took navigation camera images after the drive, acquired navigation camera movies in search of dust devils, and monitored atmospheric dust.

Sol 1120: Spirit searched for clouds using the WATCH computer sequence.

Sol 1121: Spirit acquired panoramic camera images of Home Plate, drove 14.24 meters (46.72) feet, acquired post-drive navigation camera images, surveyed the horizon with the panoramic camera, and searched for clouds using the WATCH computer sequence.

Sol 1122: Spirit measured atmospheric argon using the alpha particle X-ray spectrometer and monitored atmospheric dust.

Sol 1123: Spirit acquired panoramic camera images of Home Plate, surveyed a target known as "Madeline English" with the miniature thermal emission spectrometer, drove 7.95 meters (26.1 feet) toward Home Plate, and acquired post-drive images, including looking toward the rear, with the navigation camera.

Sol 1124 (March 2, 2007): Spirit completed a survey of rock clasts using the panoramic camera.

Odometry:

As of sol 1123 (March 1, 2007), Spirit's total odometry was 7007.84 meters (4.35 miles).

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