SPIRIT UPDATE: Rats in "New York" - sol 81, Mar 26, 2004
Spirit began sol 81, which ended at 11:02 a.m. PST on March 26, 2004, by stopping the alpha particle X-ray spectrometer integration and then imaging the instrument's placement with the hazard avoidance camera. The rest of this sol was all about grinding into the target "New York" on the rock named "Mazatzal."
The rock abrasion tool operated on the New York target for three hours and forty-five minutes and created an impression in the rock that was 3.79 millimeters (.15 inches) deep. The angular shape of Mazatzal and the fact that the rock is a little harder than previously abraded rocks allowed the more flat side of the circular target to receive a more intense grind. On sol 83, the science and engineering teams plan to again place Spirit's rock abrasion tool onto the rock, overlapping the already abraded area and reaching the area just to the left.
Spirit will spend most of sol 82, which will end at 11:42 a.m. PST on March 27, 2004, analyzing the rock abrasion tool impression with the microscopic imager, MÃ¶ssbauer spectrometer and alpha particle X-ray spectrometer. The rover will also place the microscopic imager over a clean surface to the upper left of the ratted area and take some images.
The wake-up song today was "Boy from New York City" by The Manhattan Transfer, in honor of the grind on the New York target.
Spirit's odometer now reads: 492 meters - more than a quarter of a mile!
OPPORTUNITY UPDATE: Opportunity and 'The Lion King' - sol 60, Mar 26, 2004
On sol 60, which ended at 10:44 p.m. PST on March 25, NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity had a quiet day continuing its research around the exterior of Eagle Crater.
Opportunity changed tools from the Moessbauer spectrometer to the alpha particle X-ray spectrometer around 11:30 Local Solar Time. In addition to the tool change, Opportunity's panoramic camera took a comprehensive color high-resolution panorama. The rover team dubbed it the "Lion King Panorama" because it is a look around Opportunity's domain from a high vantage point -- much like the view from "Pride Rock" in "The Lion King" movie. The large panorama essentially filled the remaining flash memory volume onboard the spacecraft, requiring a plan for sol 61 that minimizes data collection. The miniature thermal emission spectrometer also collected remote sensing data.
The wake up song for sol 60 was "The Circle of Life" by Elton John in honor of the Lion King panorama.
The plan for sol 61, which will end at 11:23 p.m. on March 26 PST, is to drive north to an area with dark material.
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