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Click here to view the latest rover updates


Daily Update - 6/24/05
On the Move
Spirit Status for sol 518-524

Spirit started this week by completing two remote sensing sols on June 18 and 19 (sols 518 and 519). The rover made observations with its panoramic camera, navigation camera, and miniature thermal emission spectrometer.

Spirit completed a complex drive plan on June 20 (sol 520), and drove 38 meters (125 feet)!

Spirit continued to drive on June 21 (sol 521) using visual odometry, and drove 9 meters (30 feet).

On June 22 (sol 522), Spirit performed remote sensing including panoramic camera observations with 13 different filters, navigation camera observations of dust devils, panoramic and navigation camera images of the rear tracks, and miniature thermal emission spectrometer observations after the afternoon communication session with the Mars Odyssey orbiter.

Spirit drove again on June 23 (sol 523) for 12 meters (39 feet).

More driving is planned for June 24, 2005.

Total odometry as of the end of sol 523 (June 23, 2005) is 4,530.51 meters (2.82 miles).

Daily Update - 6/17/05
Scenic Stop
Spirit Status for sol 511-517

This week Spirit finished examining an area on the rock "Backstay" that was brushed away with the rock abrasion tool. Using the microscopic imager and the alpha particle X-ray spectrometer, the rover also looked closely at an undisturbed area on the rock. Spirit then drove away, pulled over to a scenic overlook to take some high-resolution imaging of "Methuselah," and drove onward. Spirit's next goal is to drive to the top of the next ridge.

Sol-by-sol summaries:
Sol 511 (June 11, 2005): Robotic arm work on Backstay: Post-Brush microscopic images, alpha particle X-ray spectrometer integration on brushed spot. Targeted remote sensing.

Sol 512: Robotic arm work on Backstay, microscopic images and alpha particle X-ray spectrometer integration on un-brushed spot, targeted remote sensing.

Sol 513: Drive towards "Methuselah scenic overlook" (15 meters or 48 feet)

Sol 514: Bump, high-resolution panoramic camera images of Methuselah area, drive on (20 meters or 66 feet)

Sol 515: Driving (18 meters or 59 feet)

Sol 516: More driving (12 meters or 39 feet)

Sol 517: Even more driving planned

Total Distance as of sol 516 (June 16, 2005): 4,470.26 meters (2.78 miles)

Daily Update - 6/17/05
Examining 'Purgatory'
Opportunity Status for sol 490-496

Opportunity is happy to be moving again and it's heading back to "Purgatory Dune." The rover's wheels dug wonderful trenches during its egress, and the science team is eager to get the robotic arm out and have a look at the soil inside and outside of the tracks. As you can imagine, Opportunity has been driving very carefully, backing away from the dune, turning around and then re-approaching it.

Sol Details:
490: (June 9, 2005) Drive away from Purgatory Dune.

491-493: Over the weekend the rover team had a problem with the uplink. On sol 491 they were loading all files for sols 491, 492 and 493. Due to an error at the Deep Space Network antenna, the sol 492 master file was not loaded. A drive scheduled for 492 did not occur. The 491 master file performed the run out science submaster and then self-recovered on sol 493. The vehicle was never in any danger and autonomously continued its science objectives.

494: First half of turning around. The team must turn the rover around, using a "k-turn" maneuver (a three-point turn that mimics the sideways "v" formation of the letter "k") to approach the Purgatory Dune with the robotic arm.

496: Second half of the "k-turn."

Daily Update - 6/13/05
Browsing at 'Backstay'
Spirit Status for sol 504-510

After last week's robotic arm work at "Larry's Outcrop," Spirit headed over to a rock called "Backstay." The rover paused over the weekend to take a closer look at its solar panels and magnets. Spirit arrived at Backstay on Tuesday (June 7, 2005), and has performed a small microscopic image mosaic, rock abrasion tool brush, and Moessbauer spectrometer integration on the rock. Over the weekend (of June 11-12, 2005), the rover will finish robotic arm work and drive on toward the next target.

Sol Details:
Sol 504: remote sensing/atmospheric science

Sol 505: robotic arm work: microscopic image of solar panel and magnets, and Moessbauer spectrometer on capture magnet, targeted remote sensing

Sol 506: continue Moessbauer on magnets, targeted remote sensing

Sol 507: drive about 4 meters (about 13 feet) to Backstay

Sol 508: Bump forward to Backstay

Sol 509: robotic arm work on Backstay: microscopic image pre- and post-brush, Moessbauer integration

Sol 510: continue Moessbauer, "Tennessee Valley Panorama," targeted miniature thermal emission spectrometer

Total Odometry: 4404.37 meters (2.73 miles)

Daily Update - 6/3/05
Spirit Hits the 500-Sol Mark!
Spirit Status for sol 497-503

Spirit has been working on Mars for more than 500 sols! This week the rover completed its close-up observations of "Larry's Outcrop" and drove back toward "Methuselah," looking for a passable way up to the summit. The rover will continue to drive around the perimeter of "Husband Hill" until it finds a good pathway.

Sol-by-sol summaries:
Sols 497 and 498 (May 27 and 28, 2005):
Spirit used tools on its robotic arm at west Larry's Outcrop and made remote-sensing observations.

Sols 499 to 501:
Spirit continued using the tools on the arm to examine the outcrop and soils. It also made more observations with tools on the camera mast.

Sol 502:
Soil observation; remote sensing.

Sol 503 (June 2, 2005):
Finished soil work, took microscopic images of outcrop, drove toward Methuselah.

Daily Update - 6/3/05
Opportunity Working Its Way Out of Dune
Opportunity Status for sol 476-483

Opportunity continues to make progress out of the dune. Recent sols have seen a slight decrease in slip and a decrease of the bogie angles, which might indicate that the rover has crested a dune. The bogie supports the rear and middle wheels, allowing the wheels to move up and down in response to the terrain. The bogie angle is the angle that the support beam makes to the horizontal.

Since the rover began making its way out of the sand trap last month, it has driven enough to have moved 177.2 meters (581 feet) if there were no slippage, and has made actual forward progress of 93 centimeters (3 feet).

Weather report: Atmospheric opacity (measured as "tau") has increased over the past few sols, decreasing the amount of solar energy received by Opportunity. The rover has still been able to drive every sol, but has had to use the deep-sleep mode on most nights to save energy.

Sol-by-sol summaries:
Sol 476 (beginning on May 26, 2005): 12 meters (39 feet) commanded, 5.5 centimeters (2.2 inches) progress

Sol 477: 12 meters (39 feet) commanded, 11.2 meters (37 feet) executed, 4.9 centimeters (2 inches) progress. (Visual odometry indicated that the rover had gone farther than it had, and flight software stopped the drive early.)

Sol 478: 12 meters (39 feet) commanded, 5.2 meters (17 feet) executed (due to the same issue with visual odometry), 2.2 centimeters (0.9 inch) progress.

Sol 479: 12 meters (39 feet) commanded and executed, 5.9 centimeters (2.3 inches) progress.

Sol 480: 12 meters (39 feet) commanded and executed, 6.3 centimeters (2.5 inches) progress.

Sol 481: 20 meters (66 feet) commanded and executed, 12.9 centimeters (5.1 inches) progress.

Sol 482: 20 meters (66 feet) commanded and executed, 10.7 centimeters (4.2 inches) progress.

Sol 483 (ending on June 3, 2005): 20 meters (66 feet) commanded and executed, about 13 centimeters (5.1 inches) progress.

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