Spirit Off To Columbia Hills As Opportunity Goes to Endurance Crater

SPIRIT UPDATE: Cruisin’ Down the Crater Side – sol 88, Apr 02, 2004

Spirit spent most of Sol 88, which ended at 3:39 p.m. PST on April 2, driving toward the “Columbia Hills.” Before beginning the drive, Spirit acquired some pre-drive remote sensing, which included panoramic camera photometry and a mini thermal emission spectrometer stare of the rock called “Carlsbad.”

Spirit then began the 35-meter (114.8 feet) combination directed and autonomous navigation drive down the rocky, ejecta-covered side of “Bonneville Crater.” Fifteen meters (49.2 feet) of the drive were directed by rover planners and did not require the rover to use its hazard avoidance software. The remaining 20 meters (65.6 feet) were navigated by Spirit autonomously and did cause the rover to make some back and forth adjustments as it avoided what it perceived to be a depression hazard in its path. Rover controllers will look at hazard avoidance camera images tomorrow to confirm the details of Spirit’s behavior.

Spirit will begin Sol 89, which ends at 4:19 p.m. PST on April 3, using the instrument deployment device on a rock target in front of it, followed by another drive toward the Columbia Hills.

OPPORTUNITY UPDATE: ‘Bounce’ Barraged by Instruments – sol 67, Apr 02, 2004

In recognition of changing the instruments on its arm nine times, David Bowie’s “Changes” woke Opportunity on its 67th sol on Mars, which ended at 3:21 a.m. PST on April 2.

The rover continued to examine “Bounce” with the microscopic imager and the Moessbauer and alpha particle X-ray spectrometers.

During the martian morning, the Moessbauer spectrometer was turned off before atmospheric science was conducted with the miniature thermal emission spectrometer and the panoramic camera.

The afternoon hours were dedicated to intensive study of a handful of targets on Bounce, including the impression ground by the rock abrasion tool on sol 66.

Opportunity will continue to investigate Bounce for the next two sols and then begin its journey toward “Endurance Crater.”

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