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Spirit Continues Soil Analysis

The light and dark soil around Spirit's tracks.
by Staff Writers
Pasadena CA (SPX) May 28, 2007
Spirit is healthy and spent the last week studying light and dark soil in and around the rover's tracks between "Home Plate" and "Mitcheltree Ridge." Spirit collected additional soil data, including about 24 hours of data using the alpha-particle X-ray spectrometer and 70 hours of data using the Mossbauer spectrometer. The primary soil targets examined during the week are known as "Kenosha Comets" and "Lefty Ganote."

In addition to daily observations of atmospheric dust levels using the panoramic camera and surveys of the sky and ground using the miniature thermal emission spectrometer, Spirit completed the following activities:

Sol 1193 (May 12, 2007): Spirit acquired alpha-particle X-ray spectrometer data from Kenosha Comets, miniature thermal emission spectrometer data from a target called "Alice Blaski," and panoramic camera images of Alice Blaski and another target known as "Mantalia." Following those tasks, Spirit napped until 11 p.m. local Mars time. Spirit then conducted a 12-hour analysis of Kenosha Comets using the alpha-particle X-ray spectrometer.

Sol 1194: Spirit started the day with acquisition of full-color images of light-colored tracks using all 13 filters of the panoramic camera. The rover acquired thumbnail images of the sky with the panoramic camera. Spirit replaced the alpha-particle X-ray spectrometer with the Mossbauer spectrometer and acquired 23.3 hours of Mossbauer data from Kenosha Comets. The rover studied a target known as "Palthon" using the miniature thermal emission spectrometer and took thumbnail images of the Martian sky with the panoramic camera.

Sol 1195: Spirit acquired another 23.3 hours worth of Mossbauer data from Kenosha Comets as well as a movie in search of dust devils using the navigation camera. The rover studied Mantalia and another target known as "Orluk" using the miniature thermal emission spectrometer.

Sol 1196: Spirit's first task of the day was to complete a sky survey using the panoramic camera. The rover stowed the robotic arm, drove backward 0.85 meters (2.8 feet), and autonomously put the alpha-particle X-ray spectrometer in position for further studies. Spirit acquired hazardous avoidance camera images prior to and after stopping and acquired navigation camera images of the terrain. Starting at 11 p.m. local Mars time, Spirit conducted an 11-hour study of the Martian atmosphere using the alpha-particle X-ray spectrometer.

Sol 1197: Spirit began the day by searching the Martian sky for clouds using the navigation camera and surveying the horizon with the panoramic camera. Spirit acquired full-color, 13-filter images of "Gertrude Weise background 3" using the panoramic camera. The rover surveyed Kenosha Comets and targets known as "Gertrude Weise background 2," "Kay Blumetta," and Gertrude Weise background 3 using the miniature thermal emission spectrometer.

Sol 1198: In the morning, Spirit acquired full-color images of Kenosha Comets using all 13 filters of the panoramic camera. The rover acquired a 360-degree panorama using the navigation camera. Spirit unstowed the robotic arm, acquired microscopic images of Lefty Ganote, and placed the alpha-particle X-ray spectrometer on Lefty Ganote.

Spirit surveyed a target known as "Audrey Wagner," Kenosha Comets, and two targets in the rover's tracks known as "Tracks No. 1" and "Tracks No. 2" using the miniature thermal emission spectrometer. The rover completed a sky survey at low sun with the panoramic camera. After napping, Spirit awoke at 11 p.m. local Mars time and conducted an overnight study using the alpha-particle X-ray spectrometer that lasted 11 hours and 52 minutes.

Sol 1199 (May 18, 2007): Plans called for Spirit to begin the day with a search for dust devils using the navigation camera and a survey of a target called "Margaret Jones" using the miniature thermal emission spectrometer. After that, the rover was to place the Mossbauer spectrometer on Lefty Ganote and conduct a 23 -hour analysis, acquire full-color images of targets called "Ethel Boyce" and "Joanne Weaver" using all 13 filters of the panoramic camera, and conduct another search for dust devils the following morning by collecting movie frames with the navigation camera.

Odometry: As of sol 1198 (May 17, 2007), Spirit's total odometry was 7,109.47 meters (4.42 miles).

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Opportunity Turns Up The Amps
Pasadena CA (SPX) May 28, 2007
Opportunity's electrical supply returned to levels not seen since the rover first arrived on Mars. Peak electrical current from the rover's solar arrays climbed above 4.0 amps and remained there for most of the week as a result of three recent dust-cleaning events. The last time electrical current reached similar levels was on sol 18 (Feb. 10, 2004)!









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