Spirit Reaches Engineering Flats. What Will Mars Reveal Next?
Mars Coverage 7/25/04
SPIRIT UPDATE: Spirit Gets Into Position for a Tune-Up - sol 181-182, July 16, 2004
On sol 181 the plan for Spirit was to deploy the instrument deployment device for microscopic imaging, then perform a two-hour MÃ¶ssbauer integration. The rover was to conduct miniature thermal emission spectrometer and navigation camera observations of rover-disturbed soil. After this, the rover was to drive to a relatively flat area dubbed "Engineering Flats." This was to prepare for a multi-sol engineering activity to heat, and ideally re-lubricate, the right-front wheel actuator. After the drive, Spirit was to take a 360-degree navigation camera panorama, followed by miniature thermal emission spectrometer observations during the communications session with NASA's Mars Odyssey orbiter. Unfortunately, as Spirit began to execute the sol 181 plan, the onboard software predicted an instrument deployment device collision. This prevented further arm functions and the drive.
On Sol 182, rover planners quickly determined the cause of the instrument deployment device error and continued to plan for sol 182 as normal. The intent for sol 182 was to complete the activities originally intended for sol 181. The sol 182 plan executed nominally, placing Spirit squarely in the middle of Engineering Flats.