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Studying The Summit

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  • Pasadena CA (JPL) Sep 08, 2005
    Perched on the crest "Husband Hill," Spirit took images for a summit panorama and used instruments on the robotic arm to investigate soil targets.

    Science team has compiled a list of experiments they would like Spirit to execute while the rover is on the summit. This list includes:

    • Assess the inner basin and image potential drive paths
    • Assess the surrounding terrain and image "Cumberland Ridge"
    • Routinely observe the atmosphere during the day and the moons at night
    • Study undisturbed soils, scuffed soils, and drift deposits
    • Study the structural geology of Husband Hill, including dips
    • Observe outcrops and rocks
    • Take images for a rover self-portrait
    • Complete a panorama on top of the "Columbia Hills"
    • Finalize exit strategy

    Spirit has already completed some of the above observations. It has taken frames for the self-portrait, looked at soil targets, and imaged the two moons of Mars - Phobos and Deimos - twice.

    After completing the initial summit imaging, Spirit drove southeast to another point in the crest area to assess more of the Cumberland Ridge and surrounding terrain.

    Sol-by-sol summaries

    Sol 585 (Aug. 25, 2005): Spirit performed remote sensing operations, did a Moessbauer spectrometer integration, and imaged Phobos and Deimos.

    Sol 586: Spirit performed remote sensing operations, did a Moessbauer spectrometer integration, and imaged the rover deck.

    Sol 587: Spirit changed tools from the Moessbauer spectrometer to the alpha particle X-ray spectrometer.

    Sol 588: Spirit continued with robotic arm operations using the microscopic imager and alpha particle X-ray spectrometer.

    Sol 589: Spirit retracted the alpha particle X-ray spectrometer and stowed the robotic arm. The rover backed away to image the area where the robotic arm had been working, then drove to the southeast. Drive distance for the sol was 21 meters (69 feet).

    Sol 590: Spirit continued the drive in the east-southeast direction for another 14.2 meters (47 feet).

    Sol 591: Spirit turned to point the UHF antenna for better communications with the Odyssey orbiter. Spirit performed remote sensing at "South Point 1."

    As of the end of sol 591, (Sept. 1, 2005), Spirit has driven 4,862 meters (3.02 miles).

    Related Links
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    NASA'S Durable Spirit Sends Intriguing New Images From Mars
    Pasadena CA (JPL) Sep 02, 2005
    Working atop a range of Martian hills, NASA's Spirit rover is rewarding researchers with tempting scenes filled with evidence of past planet environments.

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