Spirit drove five of the last seven days, continuing its trek towards the top of "Husband Hill." Spirit's intermediate goal is a ridge dubbed "Larry's Lookout," which is roughly 75 meters (246 feet) away.
Getting there using Spirit's current path will be a challenge given the sand, slope, and rocks in this area. Spirit paused for a set of weekend observations of a rock called "Wishstone." Total odometry for the mission is now 3,944 meters (2.45 miles).
The amount of electric current drawn by the motor on the right front wheel is in the normal range. Near the end of Spirit's long series of drives from "Bonneville Crater" to the "Columbia Hills," the right front wheel began to draw roughly twice the current of the other five wheels.
The increased current prompted engineers to limit the use of this wheel to preserve its life. Since arriving at the hills, Spirit has had relatively few driving days.
The rover team's current working theory on this problem suggests that the recent rest periods have allowed the lubricant in this wheel to redistribute, causing the current draw to return to normal.
Periodic rest days will be included in rover drivers' plans, and Spirit will alternate forward and backward driving to keep the lubricant in all of the wheels more evenly distributed.
Mars Rovers at JPL
Mars Rovers at Cornell
Subscribe To SpaceDaily Express
Mars Life: Trouble Without The Rubble?
Moffet Field CA (SPX) Dec 13, 2004
On January 25, Opportunity landed on Mars. The landing site, Meridiani Planum, was the flattest location scouted in the history of Mars exploration. Because of the rover's unique mobility, scientists wanted interesting landing sites with less than ten to twenty percent rock coverage. Rubble was trouble. But few anticipated what all that flatness would finally deliver.
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2016 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement All images and articles appearing on Space Media Network have been edited or digitally altered in some way. Any requests to remove copyright material will be acted upon in a timely and appropriate manner. Any attempt to extort money from Space Media Network will be ignored and reported to Australian Law Enforcement Agencies as a potential case of financial fraud involving the use of a telephonic carriage device or postal service.|