[meteorite-list] Mars Exploration Rovers Update - October 17, 2005

From: Ron Baalke <baalke_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Tue Oct 18 12:04:48 2005
Message-ID: <200510181542.j9IFgAX17236_at_zagami.jpl.nasa.gov>


SPIRIT UPDATE: Spirit Wiggles into a Sturdy Workspace - sol 626-633,
Oct 17, 2005:

Spirit is healthy and spent the week examining a rock called "Hillary"
at the true summit of "Husband Hill." The first attempt to approach
Hillary ended with a small pebble under Spirit's left front wheel, and
the stability of the rover was uncertain. A set of wheel wiggles was
performed to stabilize the rover before deployment of the robotic arm.
Once the wheel was in good contact with the ground, Spirit began a
conservative robotic-arm campaign, started with Moessbauer spectrometer
and alpha particle X-ray spectrometer integrations.

Sol-by-sol summaries:

Sol 626 (Oct. 6, 2005): Spirit began sol 626 on a steep slope, with
Hillary in the work area. However, the right front wheel did not look
like it was in stable contact with the ground. A set of three wheel
wiggles and a final move to steer the wheels against the slip direction
reduced Spirit's overall tilt by two degrees.

After looking at several images, rover meshes and RSVP simulations, the
planning team was able to determine that the wheel was in a more stable
area than it had been earlier. Rover meshes are three-dimensional
terrain maps that are created by rover team members by "gluing" together
multiple pieces of data from the hazard-avoidance cameras (up-close
images), navigation cameras (middle distance images), and panoramic
cameras (far-away images) to give a view of the Martian landscape for
multiple tactical purposes. RSVP stands for Rover Sequencing and
Visualization Program. The rover planners use this software tool to plan
sequences of commands for driving and robotic arm work. It can simulate
the sequence, showing a model of the rover superimposed on actual images
of the Martian terrain.

Sol 627: Spirit deployed the robotic arm. When the arm is deployed while
the rover is on a slope, the degree to which the rover is tilting may
change. The team expected a change of less than 0.3 degrees and saw only
a 0.005 degree change.

Sol 628: Robotic arm work continued with a Moessbauer spectrometer
placement on the first of two targets. Targeted remote sensing was also

Sol 629: Spirit continued Moessbauer spectrometer integration and remote

Sol 630: Spirit changed tools to the alpha particle X-ray spectrometer
and made observations with the navigation camera.

Sol 631: Spirit placed the Moessbauer spectrometer on a second target,
performed targeted remote sensing and made nighttime observations with
the panoramic camera.

Sol 632: Spirit continued the Moessbauer spectrometer integration and
remote sensing. The rover also used the miniature thermal emission
spectrometer at night.

Sol 633: Spirit took pictures of targets on Hillary using the
microscopic imager, performed an alpha particle X-ray spectrometer
integration at night and checked for dust devils.

As of the end of sol 633, (Oct. 13, 2005), Spirit has driven 4,993
meters (3.10 miles).


OPPORTUNITY UPDATE: Around 'Erebus' - sol 606-612, Oct 17, 2005:

Opportunity is continuing to travel westward around "Erebus Crater."

The rover completed a 26.18-meter (about 86-foot) drive on sol 608 (Oct.
9, 2005) with very little slip. On sol 610, the team planned another
drive, but the spacecraft experienced a software reset at about 9:20
a.m., local solar time. That deactivated all sequences and left the
spacecraft in automode before the sol 610 master sequence was active. On
sol 611, the team sent a recovery sequence to reestablish a master
sequence and reinitialize the panoramic camera mast assembly state (the
position of the rover's "head"). The team received confirmation of
success. The sol 612 plan included another attempt to do the drive
originally planned for sol 610. However, the master sequence for 612 was
not received properly by the spacecraft because of bad pointing or
weather. So, the run-out plan from sol 611 was executed.

Sol-by-sol summaries:

Sol 606 (Oct. 7, 2005): Untargeted remote sensing.

Sol 607: Targeted remote sensing during sol one of a three-sol plan.

Sol 608: Second sol of a three-sol plan. Opportunity drove 26.18 meters
(about 86 feet) westward around Erebus Crater, with an average slip of
1.7 percent.

Sol 609: Untargeted remote sensing during the third sol of a three-sol plan.

Sol 610: The team planned a drive of about 21 meters (69 feet), but a
software reset Opportunity into automode so the drive was not carried
out. The reset was very similar to one on Opportunity's sol 563. Since
the miniature thermal emission spectrometer was the instrument in use
during the reset, use of that instrument has been precluded, pending
further analysis.

Sol 611: Recovery sol. The master sequence was activated in real time
and the panoramic camera mast assembly (the "head" of the rover)
position was reinitialized. Data management sequences were run.

Sol 612 (Oct. 13, 2005): Commands included a drive, the one originally
planned for sol 610. However, the master sequence for 612 was not
received properly by the spacecraft, because of bad pointing or weather,
so Opportunity instead executed the run-out sequence from sol 611.

Opportunity's total odometry, as of completion of the drive on sol 608
(Oct. 9, 2005) is 6,036.06 meters (3.75 miles)
Received on Tue 18 Oct 2005 11:42:09 AM PDT

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