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Spirit Observes 'Independence'

Panoramic Desktop by MER-A Sol 509-510. Wallpaper available - 1024x768
Pasadena CA (JPL) Jul 03, 2005
Spirit has had an extremely successful week. On June 24, 2005 (sol 524), the rover drove 26 meters (85 feet). The following two sols, Spirit performed remote sensing. On June 27 (sol 527), Spirit completed another tricky drive and progressed 22.5 meters (74 feet).

At this new site, scientists found an intriguing rock target they informally named "Independence Rock." Spirit will observe this layered rock with instruments on the robotic arm over the long Fourth of July weekend.

The rover team commanded a small move positioning Spirit in front of this target, and the rover has begun the science observations. The first attempt to brush Independence Rock with the rock abrasion tool was unsuccessful because contact switches didn't connect.

However, the rover team picked a new target in the same general area for Spirit to brush with the rock abrasion tool and analyze with the alpha particle X-ray spectrometer and Moessbauer spectrometer over the weekend.

Sol-by-sol summaries:

Sol 524 (June 24, 2005): Spirit completed an extremely successful drive, advancing 26 meters (85 feet).

Sol 525: On this remote sensing sol, Spirit made observations with the panoramic camera and miniature thermal emission spectrometer.

Sol 526: Spirit checked for dust devils with the navigation camera, took readings with the miniature thermal emission spectrometer and observed the sunset with the panoramic camera.

Sol 527: Spirit drove 22.5 meters (74 feet), evidence of successful work by rover planners.

Sol 528: Spirit executed a small drive of 2.8 meters (9 feet) to position itself to have an interesting rock target, dubbed "Franklin," within the work volume of the robotic arm.

Sol 529: The team planned a sol of using the microscopic imager, rock abrasion tool brush, and alpha particle X-ray spectrometer in preparation for the long weekend plan.

However, the rock abrasion tool's contact switches didn't trip, and software responded properly by precluded the robotic arm from doing the subsequent work with the alpha particle X-ray spectrometer.

Sol 530: This plan was difficult and long because it was part of a three-sol plan in preparation for the weekend. Engineers had to re-enable the robotic arm quickly. Spirit performed a 22.5-hour Moessbauer spectrometer integration on Franklin.

Sol 531 (July 1, 2005): This will be the second sol of a three-sol plan, with another long Moessbauer spectrometer integration (23 hours) on Franklin.

Total odometry as of the end of sol 528 (June 28, 2005) is 4,583.38 meters (2.85 miles).

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Opportunity Heads South, Leaves Purgatory Dune Behind
Pasadena CA (JPL) Jul 01, 2005
It's been an uncommonly good week so far for both rovers. It's funny with these vehicles.. we have some stretches of time where it seems nothing much happens, or where various frustrating little glitches slow us down in some way or another.

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