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Spirit Energy Levels Dropping As Opportunity Roves Onward At 20 Klicks

Classic Spirit desktop available
by Staff Writers
Pasadena CA (JPL) Mar 26, 2010
In position for the fourth winter, embedded at "Troy" on the west side of Home Plate, Spirit continues to execute a single seven-sol plan each week, as long as power permits.

The seven-sol plan contains a single X-band uplink and a single Ultra-High Frequency (UHF) downlink. The activity on each sol consists simply of a brief wakeup, an atmospheric opacity (tau) measurement, and then a shutdown for the rest of the day and night.

The last downlink from the rover was on Sol 2210 (March 22, 2010).

From that downlink, Spirit was still under master sequence control and all systems were green. Energy production was down to 134 watt-hours per sol.

Solar array energy production levels will continue to drop, leading to widening energy deficits and decreases in battery state of charge. The solid-state power amplifier (SSPA), as a proxy for the rover electronics module (REM), reached a new record low temperature of minus 41.5 degrees Celsius (minus 42.7 degrees Fahrenheit).

Spirit continues to get colder. A change was noticed on Sol 2203 (March 15, 2010), in the behavior of the battery survival heaters. The implications are not known, but it is being investigated.

The plan for this week is to sequence another seven-sol plan to be uplinked this Friday with a single UHF downlink by early next week.

Spirit could enter low-power fault at anytime and become quiet for an extended period of time to charge her batteries.

As of Sol 2210 (March 22, 2010), the rover solar array energy production was to 134 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (tau) of 0.353, as measured on Sol 2209 (March 21, 2010). Total odometry is unchanged at 7,730.50 meters (4.80 miles).

20 Kilometers and Still Rolling on Mars
Opportunity has passed 20 kilometers (12.43 miles) in odometry! She has been driving, driving, driving and driving on the path to Endeavour crater.

The rover drove four times in the last week totaling over 260 meters (853 feet) of progress. On Sol 2186 (March 18, 2010), Opportunity, driving backwards to the southwest covered about 64 meters (210 feet) of distance.

Next, on Sol 2188 (March 20, 2010), the rover headed south covering almost 71 meters (233 feet).

Then, on another drive due south on Sol 2190 (March 22, 2010), the rover covered just over 63 meters (207 feet). With the 67-meter (207-foot) drive on Sol 2191 (March 24, 2010), Opportunity passed 20 kilometers (12.43 miles) of total odometry. Opportunity will rest from driving on Sol 2192 (March 25, 2010), to recharge her batteries.

As of Sol 2191 (March 24, 2010), the solar array energy production was 257 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (tau) of 0.418. Total odometry is 20,043.30 meters (over 20 kilometers, or 12.43 miles).

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Pasadena CA (JPL) Mar 26, 2010
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