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PASSPORT TO KNOWLEDGE - To MARS with MER

Daily Updates - May 6, 2004
Spirit Status at end of sol 118 - 120

Spirit is now approximately 1.7 kilometers (1 mile) away from the base of the "Columbia Hills" after three long sols of driving. Its odometer currently reads 1,566 meters (.97 miles) and counting.

Sol 118 was a record-breaking driving sol for Spirit. The Gusev Crater rover moved 92.4 meters (303 feet) across the surface in one sol, breaking its previous record of around 90 meters (295 feet). The Opportunity rover still has Spirit beat with a one-sol driving record of 140 meters (459.3 feet).

Sol 119 proved to be a more difficult sol for Spirit. An uplink configuration error prevented the sequence load from successfully getting on board the rover. Rover controllers took advantage of the down day by deleting afternoon communication sessions and enabling the rover to charge its battery during a long afternoon nap.

It was back to business as usual on sol 120. Before embarking on its drive, Spirit imaged a rock called "Tulula" with the panoramic camera. The rover then successfully executed a blind drive before using the autonomous navigation system to continue into uncharted territory. After reaching the time-of-day driving limit, Spirit turned and performed penultimate (next to last stop) imaging. The next move would have taken the rover 85 centimeters (33.5 inches) to its ultimate stopping point, but did not execute because Spirit was facing a small sand ridge that was perceived as a hazard. Without a penultimate/ultimate image pair, rover controllers could not be sure that the area underneath the rover was clear of hazards for instrument arm deployment. As a result, Sol 121 will be another driving sol that controllers hope will place Spirit in a suitable location to use the instruments on its instrument deployment device.

Spirit Daily Update Archive