Follow this link to skip to the main content
Follow this link to skip to the main content
NASA Logo - Jet Propulsion Laboratory Follow this link to skip to the main content    + View the NASA Portal

JPL Home Earth Solar System Stars & Galaxies Technology
Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Images Multimedia News Missions Public Services Kids Education About JPL
Jet Propulsion Laboratory NASA Caltech Jet Propulsion Lab CalTech
Upper-left corner   Upper-right corner
  NEWS
Dot RELEASES (2003)

  Dot2002 RELEASES

  Dot2001 RELEASES

  Dot2000 RELEASES

  Dot1990s RELEASES

  Dot1980s RELEASES

  Dot1970s RELEASES

  Dot1960s RELEASES

Dot NEWS NOTES

Dot PRESS KITS

Dot FACT SHEETS

Dot FEATURES

Dot PROFILES

Dot ANNUAL REPORTS

Dot IMAGES / VIDEOS

Dot MEDIA VISITS

Dot MEDIA CONTACTS


Download the FREE Adobe Acrobat Reader to view the press kits.

 
2003 News Releases

Mars Rover Spirit Mission Status
June 20, 2003

artist's concept of Spirit in cruise stage
Artist's concept of Spirit links box

JPL rover news archives

Mars Exploration Rover site

NASA's Spirit spacecraft, the first of twin Mars Exploration Rovers, performed its first trajectory correction maneuver today.

Following commands from the Mars Exploration Rover flight team at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., the spacecraft first performed a calibration and check of its eight thrusters, then fired the thrusters to fine-tune its flight path toward Mars.

The main burn had two components. Thrusters that accelerate the rotating spacecraft along the direction of the rotation axis burned steadily for about 28 minutes. Then, thrusters that accelerate the spacecraft in a direction perpendicular to the rotation axis fired in pulses timed to the spacecraft's rotation rate -- with 264 pulses totaling about 22 minutes of burn time. The total maneuver increased Spirit's speed by 14.3 meters per second (32 miles per hour).

At the end of the trajectory correction, Spirit performed an attitude turn that adjusted its orientation in space to maintain the optimal combination of facing its solar array toward the Sun and pointing its low-gain antenna toward Earth. The spacecraft's next trajectory correction maneuver is scheduled for Aug. 1 and its next attitude turn for July 22.

All systems on the spacecraft are in good health. As of today at 6 a.m. Pacific Daylight Time, Spirit had traveled 27,390,000 kilometers (17,020,000 miles) since launch on June 10, and was at a distance of 2,660,000 kilometers (1,653,000 miles) from Earth. It was traveling at a speed of 32.22 kilometers per second (72,100 miles per hour) relative to the Sun. Spirit will arrive at Mars on Jan. 4, 2004, Universal Time (evening of Jan. 3, 2004, Eastern and Pacific times). The rover will examine its landing area in Mars' Gusev Crater for geological evidence about the history of water on Mars.

Spirit's twin, Opportunity, is being prepared at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida. Its launch has been rescheduled for a first launch opportunity at 11:56 p.m. June 28, Eastern Daylight Time (8:56 p.m. PDT).

JPL, a division of the California Institute of Technology, manages the Mars Exploration Rover project for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, D.C. Additional information about the project is available from JPL at http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/mer and from Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y., at http://athena.cornell.edu.


Contact: JPL/Guy Webster (818) 354-6278

JPL/Nancy Lovato (818) 354-9382

Donald Savage (202) 358-1547
NASA Headquarters, Washington, D.C.  

2003-089

Bottom-left corner   Bottom-right corner  

NASA Privacy FAQ Feedback Site Map