The Spirit rover found soil deposits on Mars that were formed by processes that require the presence of water.


Hi my name is Richard Morris, one of mission managers on the Mars Exploration Rovers and this is the flight director's update for the 22nd of May 2007. We'll start with Spirit. Currently it is early morning on sol 1203 for Spirit. Later on today Spirit will drive away from the silica-rich soil deposit it's been studying for several weeks now. The soil deposits as measured by Spirit's Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) contain a concentration of pure silica of 90 percent. That fact combined with the mineralogy as measured by Spirit's Miniature Thermal Emission Spectrometer (MINI-TES), tell us that the soil was formed by processes which require the presence of water. These silica-rich soil deposits were ironically uncovered by Spirit's stuck right front wheel, which as Spirit drags this wheel behind it, it tends to excavate a small trench. Next for Spirit will be to drive on top of "Home Plate." O n the way, Spirit will investigate geographic layering in order to attempt to characterize the depth of these silica-rich soil deposits.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the planet for Opportunity, it is currently early evening on sol 1182. Today, Opportunity drove away from the rock target known as "Cercidilla." "Cercidilla" is potentially ejecta from deep inside "Victoria Crater." Next, Opportunity will make its way around the northwest edge of "Victoria Crater," in order to make its way back to "Duck Bay." On the way, Opportunity will continue check outs of its new technologies.

I'm Richard Morris. Thanks for watching and that's what's happening on Mars today.
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