Mars Exploration Rovers Update - August 18, 2006

SPIRIT UPDATE: Spirit Checking ‘Korolev’ - sol 929-932, August 18, 2006:

Spirit is healthy and continues to make progress on its winter science campaign.

Spirit is finishing the “McMurdo mega-panorama” by acquiring touch-up images (dubbed “grout” by engineers). Spirit is nearly complete with the coverage of the ground around the rover.

Spirit continues making a series of atmospheric observations at the same time each day.

Spirit is collecting about 280 watt-hours of electrical power each sol from the rover’s solar array (100 watt-hours is the amount of electricity needed to light one 100-watt bulb for one hour).

Sol-by-sol summaries:

Sol 929 (Aug. 14, 2006): Spirit studied a target called “Halley Brunt” with the panoramic camera and microscopic imager.

Sol 930: Spirit took a tau measurement, an observation during which the rover evaluates atmospheric opacity to estimate dust height.

Sol 931: Spirit took pictures with the panoramic camera of targets named “Korolev” and “McMurdo grout 10.” Spirit also used the panoramic camera to take a tau measurement.

Sol 932 (Aug. 17, 2006): Spirit took a tau measurement with the panoramic camera, surveyed the sky and ground with the miniature thermal emission spectrometer, and took measurements of a target named “Vernadsky” along with a background stare with the miniature thermal emission spectrometer.


As of sol 932 (Aug. 17, 2006), Spirit’s total odometry remained at 6,876.18 meters (4.27 miles).

OPPORTUNITY UPDATE: Opportunity Observes ‘Isabela’ - sol 907-912, August 18, 2006:

Opportunity is healthy and on the road to “Victoria Crater.” Spirit drove 35.67 meters (117 feet) from “Beagle Crater” to a small sand dune, or ripple, to examine the dune with the robotic arm. The ripple study included observations with the microscopic imager, two alpha particle X-ray spectrometer integrations, and two observations with the miniature thermal emission spectrometer.

Sol-by-sol summaries:

Sol 907 (Aug. 12, 2006): Opportunity drove 31.4 meters (103 feet) away from Beagle Crater toward a ripple.

Sol 908: Opportunity performed a navigation camera experiment and made observations with the miniature thermal emission spectrometer.

Sol 909: Opportunity drove 4.27 meters (14 feet) and used the robotic arm on the ripple. It also took images with the panoramic camera, navigation camera and hazard-avoidance cameras.

Sol 910: Opportunity took pictures of targets informally named “Isabela” and “Marchena” with the microscopic imager. The rover also took measurements of Marchena with the alpha particle X-ray spectrometer.

Sol 911: Opportunity moved the robotic arm out of the way and took pictures of the area where it would later use the alpha particle X-ray spectrometer. Opportunity made observations of targets informally named “Pinzon” and “Pinta” with the miniature thermal emission spectrometer. Opportunity did a reading of Isabela with the alpha particle X-ray spectrometer after the Odyssey communications pass.

Sol 912 (Aug. 17, 2006): The plan is for Opportunity to stow the robotic arm and drive toward Victoria Crater at a heading of 163 degrees.


As of sol 911 (Aug. 16, 2006), Opportunity’s total odometry was 8723.38 meters (5.42 miles).