[meteorite-list] Mars Exploration Rovers Update: May 28 - June 3, 2009

From: Ron Baalke <baalke_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Thu, 11 Jun 2009 13:56:54 -0700 (PDT)
Message-ID: <200906112056.NAA03824_at_zagami.jpl.nasa.gov>


SPIRIT UPDATE: Underbelly Photography - sols 1920-1926,
May 28 - June 03, 2009:

Although Spirit has yet to begin to extricate herself from the loose,
soft terrain on the west side of Home Plate, the rover has been active
using her instruments to assess her embedded state.

This week the robotic arm (Instrument Deployment Device, IDD) with the
Microscopic Imager (MI) were used to take a mosaic of images of the
rover's underbelly. The MI, a short focus camera, was never designed to
take these types of long-focus images. This technique was first tested
by Opportunity and the test demonstrated that although the images will
not be sharply focused, sufficient detail can be seen.

Spirit's first MI mosaic of the underbelly was collected on Sol 1922
(May 30, 2009). The IDD then positioned the MI to collect a stack of
images of a science soil target and placed the M?ssbauer (MB)
spectrometer on the science target for a multi-sol integration. Spirit
collected a second underbelly image mosaic on Sol 1925 (June 2, 2009).
This time the IDD extended further under the rover to capture more
detail. The IDD then collected another MI stack of images of a science
target followed by the placement of the Alpha-Particle X-ray
Spectrometer (APXS) on the same target. Frames of a 360-degree color
panorama, called the Calypso panorama, were collected. Targeted
observations were made with the miniature thermal emission spectrometer.

The project was successful in restoring files to a computer server so
that the surface system testbed (SSTB) rover at JPL could be operated.
Soil simulant tests with the SSTB were performed on "Bag House" dust
simulant. Unfortunately, the test results show that the Bag House dust
is not suitable as a simulant for Spirit's situation. A new simulant is
being formulated and will be tested shortly.

As of Sol 1926, solar array energy production was generous at 884
watt-hours with atmospheric opacity (tau) of 0.458 and a dust factor of
0.772. Spirit's total odometry remains at 7,729.93 meters (4.80 miles).


OPPORTUNITY UPDATE: Southbound Progress - sols 1900-1905,
May 29 - June 03, 2009:

Opportunity has been busy driving south. The rover drove four out of the
last six sols. The drives have all been blind drives with regular slip
checks for progress.

On Sols 1900, 1902 and 1904 (May 29, May 31 and June 2, 2009),
Opportunity drove 66, 71 and 74 meters, (217, 233 and 243 feet),
respectively. On Sol 1905 (June 3, 2009), the rover only accomplished
about 30 meters (98 feet) of driving before the time ran out. Activities
were very time-constrained on that sol.

Motor currents in the right-front wheel continue to be elevated.
Limiting the drive distance and employing regular, short, backward slip
checks seems to mitigate further increases in right-front wheel current.

As of Sol 1905 (June 3, 2009), Opportunity's solar array energy
production is 413 watt-hours. Atmospheric opacity (tau) is 0.559. The
dust factor is 0.542, meaning that 54.2 percent of sunlight hitting the
solar array penetrates the layer of accumulated dust on the array.
Opportunity's total odometry is 16,424.22 meters (10.2 miles).
Received on Thu 11 Jun 2009 04:56:54 PM PDT

Help support this free mailing list:

Yahoo MyWeb