Pasadena CA (SPX) Jun 29, 2009
Spirit is continuing her ambitious remote sensing and in-situ (contact) science observations at the location called "Troy" on the west side of Home Plate.
Using the rover robotic arm (instrument deployment device, IDD), the rover has been exploring a set of surface targets that hold clues to the past geologic history at this location.
On Sol 1941 (June 18, 2009), a Microscopic Imager (MI) stack of images was collected on target Penina3, then the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) was placed for an overnight integration.
On the next sol, the Moessbauer Spectrometer (MB) was placed on a different target for a multi-sol integration. The next few sols included some late-day activities where the rover imaged the Earth and Venus in the night sky.
On Sols 1945 and 1946 (June 22 and 23, 2009), Spirit investigated another set of surface targets, again with MI stacks and APXS overnight integrations. On Sol 1946 (June 23, 2009), another solar array dust cleaning event occurred, increasing the available energy each sol even more.
At JPL, a special test form has been installed for ground testing with the surface system testbed (SSTB) rover to guide the eventual extraction activities on Mars for Spirit. The materials for the soil simulant to be used in the test form have been delivered and are in the process of being formulated and mixed.
As of Sol 1947 (June 24, 2009), solar array energy production increased to 945 watt-hours with atmospheric opacity (tau) of 0.480 and an improved dust factor of 0.834. Total odometry remains at 7,729.93 meters (4.80 miles).
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Mars Rover Yielding New Clues While Lodged In Martian Soil
Pasadena CA (SPX) Jun 26, 2009
NASA's Mars rover Spirit, lodged in Martian soil that is causing traction trouble, is taking advantage of the situation by learning more about the Red Planet's environmental history. In April, Spirit entered an area composed of three or more layers of soil with differing pastel hues hiding beneath a darker sand blanket. Scientists dubbed the site "Troy." Spirit's rotating wheels ... read more
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