SPIRIT UPDATE: Spirit Makes Progress Across “Home Plate” - sol 1315-1320, September 25, 2007:
Spirit is healthy after finishing a remote sensing campaign at Site 2 on “Home Plate.” The work included collecting long-baseline stereo images of “Husband Hill,” studying a possible fracture in the bedrock, and conducting reconnaissance looking west, southwest, and south in search of drive paths and geological information.
On Sol 1315 (Sept. 14, 2007), Spirit began driving toward Site 3, about 30 to 40 meters (100 to 130 feet) away from Site 2 at the southern end of Home Plate. Scientists wanted to gain elevation for a better view of the southern part of Home Plate and “Low Ridge.” They planned to use instruments at the end of the rover’s robotic arm to document alteration trends from northwest to southeast across Home Plate and get a better look at vesicular basalts and potential “Comanche”-class rocks (so named for rocks examined earlier in the mission while Spirit was crossing Husband Hill).
Later the same day, after the rover completed the drive, the Odyssey orbiter went into safe mode, and Spirit stayed put to perform remote sensing. On sols 1318 and 1319 (Sept. 17-18, 2007), Spirit communicated directly with Earth via the high-gain antenna, enabling the operations team to confirm that the rover was still healthy and had successfully completed the sol 1315 drive. On Wednesday, September 19th, Odyssey resumed relaying data from Spirit via UHF radio transmissions, clearing the way for Spirit to continue driving to Site 3.
In addition to measuring atmospheric opacity with the panoramic camera, surveying the sky and ground with the miniature thermal emission spectrometer, and checking for drift (changes with time) in the miniature thermal emission spectrometer, Spirit completed the following activities:
Sol 1315 (Sept. 14, 2007): Spirit surveyed a soil target known as “Broth” and rock targets known as “Vichyssoise” and “Cioppino” with the miniature thermal emission spectrometer. The rover drove toward Home Plate Site 3, acquiring images along the way with the hazard avoidance cameras. After the drive, Spirit took images of the surroundings with the navigation and panoramic cameras.
Sol 1316: Spirit acquired 8 minutes worth of movie frames in search of dust devils using the navigation camera. Spirit acquired a panel of navigation camera images looking to the rear and a mosaic of panoramic camera images of the fracture. The rover surveyed the external calibration target with the miniature thermal emission spectrometer.
Sol 1317: Spirit monitored dust accumulation on the rover mast with the panoramic camera and acquired full-color images of the foreground using all 13 filters of the panoramic camera. The rover completed a survey of rock clasts with the panoramic camera. Spirit scanned the foreground using both the navigation camera and miniature thermal emission spectrometer. Spirit recalibrated the panoramic camera’s measurements of atmospheric opacity.
Sol 1318: Spirit took thumbnail images of the sky with the panoramic camera and checked the external calibration target with the miniature thermal emission spectrometer. The rover spent most of the sol taking measurements of atmospheric dust.
Sol 1319: Spirit continued to check the external calibration target with the miniature thermal emission spectrometer and acquired movie frames in search of dust devils with the navigation camera.
Sol 1320 (Sept. 20, 2007): Spirit took thumbnail images of the sky with the panoramic camera and monitored dust accumulation on the mast with the miniature thermal emission spectrometer.
As of sol 1315 (Sept. 14, 2007), Spirit’s total odometry was 7,214 meters (4.48 miles).