Update : Brush, Brush, Brush, Then Step Back
sol 55, Feb
image of the rock called "Humphrey" was taken
by Spirit’s navigational camera on its 54th sol on Mars.
The rock’s name was inspired by Humphries Peak – the tallest
peak in Arizona and part of the San Francisco volcanic complex.
Standing approximately .6 meters (about 2 feet) tall, "Humphrey"
is one of the largest blocks of what scientists believe
is ejected material from one of the rover’s long-term targets,
the crater dubbed "Bonneville." Likely a basaltic
rock, the fractures in "Humphrey" are thought
to have been caused by the impact as it was hurled from
the crater to its current resting place. Scientists are
eager to investigate ejecta rocks, as they give a glimpse
of the composition of what lies beneath the martian surface.
The engineering and science teams are preparing to brush
and then grind "Humphrey" with Spirit’s rock abrasion
tool. The hope is to remove as much dust as possible so
they can examine the coating and then the exposed undersurface
after grinding with the cameras and the miniature thermal
its rock abrasion tool for brushing the dust off three patches
of a rock called "Humphrey," during its 55th sol on
Mars, ending at 5:53 p.m. Saturday, PST. Before applying the wire-bristled
brush, the rover inspected the surface of the rock with its microscope
and with its alpha particle X-ray spectrometer, which identifies
elements that are present. Brushing three different places on
a rock one right after another was an unprecedented use of the
rock abrasion tool, designed to provide a larger cleaned area
Spirit rolled backward 85 centimeters (2.8 feet) to a position
from which it could use its miniature thermal emission spectrometer
on the cleaned areas for assessing what minerals are present.
Due to caution about potential hazards while re-approaching "Humphrey,"
the rover moved only part of the way back. Plans for sol 56, ending
at 6:33 p.m. Sunday, PST, call for finishing that re-approach
and further inspecting the brushed areas. If all goes well, the
rock abrasion tool’s diamond-toothed grinding wheel will cut into
the rock on sol 57 to expose fresh interior material.
music on sol 55, controllers chose "Brush Your Teeth,"
by Cathy Fink and Marcy Marxer, and "Knock Three Times,"
by Tony Orlando and Dawn.
Updates On Spirit
Update: "Guadalupe" Under the Microscope
sol 35, Feb 29, 2004
35th sol on Mars, ending at 6:14 a.m. Sunday, PST, Opportunity
manipulated the microscopic imager at the tip of its arm for eight
observations of the fine textures of an outcrop-rock target called
"Guadalupe." The observations include frames to be used
for developing stereo and color views.
also used its Moessbauer spectrometer and, after an overnight
switch, its alpha particle X-ray spectrometer to assess the composition
of the interior material of "Guadalupe" exposed yestersol
by a grinding session with the rock abrasion tool.
camera up on the rover’s mast captured a new view toward the eastern
horizon beyond the crater where Opportunity is working, for use
in evaluating potential drive directions after the rover leaves
"I Can See Clearly Now," was played in the mission support
area at JPL as Opportunity’s sol 35 wake-up music.
sol 36, ending at 6:54 a.m. Monday, PST, called for finishing
the close-up inspection of "Guadalupe," then backing
up enough to give the panoramic camera and miniature emission
spectrometer good views of the area where the rock interior has
been exposed by grinding.
Updates On Opportunity