The Spirit Of Martian Driving
Spirit spent most of sol 106, which ended at 4:32 a.m. PDT on April 21, performing remote sensing on the inside of "Missoula Crater." It acquired panoramic camera and mini thermal emission spectrometer panoramas and navigation camera images of the crater, along with some panoramic camera images looking back toward "Bonneville" crater.
On the morning of sol 107, which ended at 5:12 a.m. PDT on April 22, Spirit got some atmospheric and cloud observations with the panoramic camera and mini thermal emission spectrometer. The rover then took a look with the panoramic camera at three targets called "Gratteri Piazza," "Wallula Gap," and "Clark Fork."
Finally it was time to drive. Spirit completed a 73.8-meter (242-feet) traverse that included a jog around a sandy hollow to the east of Missoula. Most of the drive was in the southeast direction on course to the "Columbia Hills."
After the drive, Spirit acquired additional panoramic camera and navigation camera observations. The total odometry at the end of sol 107 was 976.77 meters (.6 miles).
Spirit continued driving toward the Columbia Hills on sol 108, which ended at 5:51 a.m. PDT on April 23, and will drive some more on sol 109, which ends at 6:31 a.m. on April 24.
The wakeup song on sol 109 was "(Take me) Driving in my Car" by Woodie Guthrie.
Opportunity: Rock Abrasion Tool Pesters 'Pilbara'
The plan for the rest of the sol called for placing the alpha particle X-ray spectrometer on the new impression to determine the elemental composition of the exposed area. It was determined, however, that the rover position would not allow for a safe integration of the instrument. Rover planners amended the plan for the sol so the rover would back up and reposition itself for a safe placement of the spectrometer after the rock abrasion tool completed the grind.
On sol 87 the rover will analyze the rock abrasion tool hole with the alpha particle X-ray and Moessbauer spectrometers.
Mars Rovers at JPL
Mars Rovers at Cornell
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Missoula Crater In Sight
Pasadena - Apr 19, 2004
Spirit had a busy weekend, culminating with a 75-meter (246-feet) drive toward "Missoula Crater" on sol 103, which ended at 2:33 a.m. PST on April 18. The sol before the drive, Sol 102, which ended at 1:54 a.m. on April 17, was an easier day for Spirit. Its main objectives were to use the panoramic camera and mini thermal emission spectrometer to acquire photometric and atmospheric measurements.