Spirit's Solar Panels Get Spring Cleaning
June 18, 2007
SPIRIT UPDATE: sol 1219-1225, June 18, 2007:
Spirit got a second spring cleaning on Mars with a dust-cleaning event that increased power from the rover's solar arrays by 120 watt-hours (a 100-watt light bulb that burns for one hour uses 100 watt-hours of electricity). Spirit previously experienced dust-lifting winds in 2005. Energy from the rover's solar arrays is now higher than 600 watt-hours.
After completing scientific studies of rock exposures known as "Betty Wagoner" and "Elizabeth Emery," Spirit drove to another rock target called "Nancy Warren" to conduct studies with instruments on the rover's robotic arm, including the microscopic imager, the alpha-particle X-ray spectrometer, the brush on the rock abrasion tool, and the Mössbauer spectrometer. The next destination on Spirit's itinerary is the "on-ramp" of the elevated plateau-like feature known as "Home Plate."
In addition to daily observations of atmospheric dust levels using the panoramic camera, surveys of the sky and ground using the miniature thermal emission spectrometer, and communication activities including morning direct-from-Earth uplinks via the rover's high-gain antenna and evening downlinks at UHF frequencies via the Mars Odyssey orbiter, Spirit completed the following activities:
Sol 1219 (June 8, 2007): Spirit touched a rock exposure adjacent to Betty Wagoner known as "Betty Wagoner's Daughter" with the rock abrasion tool, brushed it, acquired a mosaic of microscopic images, touched the target with the Mössbauer spectrometer, and acquired more microscopic images. The rover placed the Mössbauer spectrometer back on Elizabeth Emery and collected data with the instrument, watched for dust devils, and completed an overnight relay of data to the Odyssey orbiter.
Sol 1220: Spirit acquired full-color images of the work area reachable by the robotic arm using all 13 filters of the panoramic camera and watched for morning dust devils. The rover also acquired full-color images using all 13 filters of the panoramic camera of targets known as "Melba Alspaugh," "Helen St. Aubin," and "Ruth Lessing." The rover acquired data using the miniature thermal emission spectrometer from targets known as "Melba Alspaugh2," "Betty Whiting2," "Joan Chiancola," and "Helen St. Aubin2." Spirit watched for dust devils, surveyed a target called "Jean Gilchrist" with the miniature thermal emission spectrometer, and completed an overnight transfer of data to the Odyssey spacecraft.
Sol 1221: Spirit acquired spot images of the sky with the panoramic camera and drove toward Nancy Warren. The rover acquired image mosaics with the navigation camera and panoramic camera and completed an overnight tranmission of data to Odyssey.
Sol 1222: Spirit conducted a survey of rock clasts with the panoramic camera, scanned the sky for clouds with the navigation camera, and acquired movie frames in search of dust devils with the navigation camera. The rover acquired systematic foreground images using all 13 filters of the panoramic camera and a systematic foreground raster with the miniature thermal emission spectrometer. Spirit again watched for dust devils and acquired movie frames with the navigation camera. The rover measured atmospheric argon using the alpha-particle X-ray spectrometer. Spirit surveyed the horizon with the panoramic camera and monitored dust on the rover's mast.
Sol 1223: Spirit completed a reconnaissance study of the rover's tracks using the miniature thermal emission spectrometer. The rover surveyed Nancy Warren with the miniature thermal emission spectrometer, approached Nancy Warren, and acquired post-drive image mosaics with the navigation camera. The rover completed an overnight relay of data to the Odyssey orbiter.
Sol 1224: Spirit acquired thumbnail images of the sky using the panoramic camera and conducted a high-sun survey with the panoramic camera. Spirit conducted reconnaissance with the miniature thermal emission spectrometer and completed an overnight relay of data to the Odyssey spacecraft.
Sol 1225 (June 14, 2007): Spirit unstowed the robotic arm, acquired a mosaic of microscopic images of Nancy Warren, placed the alpha-particle X-ray spectrometer on the target, and acquired data with the instrument. Spirit relayed data overnight to Odyssey.
As of sol 1225 (June 14, 2007), Spirit's total odometry was 7,141.67 meters (4.44 miles).
Source: NASA / JPL