Mars Exploration Rover Update - May 26, 2006

SPIRIT UPDATE: Spirit Continues Studies of Martian “Winter Haven” -sol 847-854, May 26, 2006:

Spirit continued to collect images for the 360-degree panorama, nowunder construction, of the rover’s “Winter Haven” on Mars. Roverplanners anticipated that by the end of the Memorial Day weekend,Spiritwould complete 15 of the 27 columns for the final product. Spirit alsocontinued scientific studies of the soil target called “Progress” afterbrushing away about 6 millimeters (a quarter of an inch) of soil toreveal a second layer, dubbed “Progress 2.” Rover team members preparedcommands for the next round of scientific measurements, to include a49.5-hour study divided over three Martian days, or sols, using theMoessbauer spectrometer.

Five of seven opportunities to transmit signals to Mars athigher-frequency X-band wavelengths were needed for higher-prioritycommunications in support of aerobraking activities of NASA’s MarsReconnaissance Orbiter, so engineers continued sending commands toSpirit via the UHF link on the Mars Odyssey spacecraft.

Sol-by-sol summaries:

Sol 847 (May 21, 2006): Spirit acquired a one-by-three mosaic forcolumn14 of the “McMurdo Panorama” and studied Progress 2 with the alphaparticle X-ray spectrometer.

Sols 849 to 851: In the absence of an uplink for new commands, Spiritexecuted the master sequence from sol 848. Spirit continued downlinkingdata to Earth and charged the battery.

Sol 852: Plans called for Spirit to place the Moessbauer spectrometeronProgress 2 and start overnight collection and integration of data.

Sol 853: Plans called for Spirit to re-start analysis with theMoessbauerspectrometer for 3.5 hours, acquire all three frames of column 15 oftheMcMurdo panorama, and make targeted observations with the miniaturethermal emission spectrometer.

Sol 854 (May 29, 2006): Plans called for an overnight study of Progress2 with the Moessbauer spectrometer.


As of sol 850 (May 25, 2006), Spirit’s total odometry remained at6,876.18 meters (4.27 miles).