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Mars Exploration Rover Daily Updates - February 11, 2004

Status Report From: Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Posted: Wednesday, February 11, 2004

Opportunity Status for sol 18 posted Feb. 11, 4:30 pm PST

Opportunity had a couple of little hiccups on sol 18, February 11, which ends at 7:01 p.m. Wednesday, PST. The wrist on the real rover arm would not point as far vertically as the engineering rover?s wrist did on Earth during a model test the night before. Because of this, the arm on Mars did not stow, and the rover did not move on to waypoint Charlie. The rover also automatically stopped use of the mast due to the fact that it believed a requested pointing position was in an area beyond its limits. Engineers solved both problems on sol 18. All systems are go for Opportunity to complete the tour of the outcrop by heading to outpost Charlie on sol 19, Thursday, February 12.

Spirit Status for sol 38 posted Feb. 11, 4 pm PST

On Spirit's sol 38, which ended at 6:40 a.m. Wednesday, PST, a failure to receive data during the morning high-gain communication window quickly led engineers to conclude that Spirit?s high-gain antenna was not pointed toward Earth. Spirit?s orientation after the previous sol's drive (45 degrees to the northeast) caused its camera mast to cast an early-morning shadow on the high-gain antenna?s elevation actuator. The cold conditions caused the actuator to stall and fail to point to Earth while being calibrated. The afternoon high-gain communication session performed flawlessly.

The afternoon communication window with Mars Odyssey provided previously acquired images of the rocks Adirondack and White Boat and a miniature thermal emission spectrometer observation of the depression drilled by the rock abrasion tool on Adirondack.

In coming sols Spirit will perform daily "touch and go" maneuvers, inspecting the soil surrounding it with the instruments on its arm, then continuing its drive toward the crater nicknamed "Bonneville."

Opportunity Status for sol 17 posted Feb. 11, 11:30 am PST

On its 17th sol on Mars, which ended at 6:21 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 10, PST, Opportunity completed its study of the target area named Bravo. Opportunity is on a three-day tour of the outcrop, taking pictures and measurements to build what geologists call a "base map," which will help them decide what specific spots they want to target for more thorough investigation with their science instruments.

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