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PASSPORT TO KNOWLEDGE - To MARS with MER

Daily Updates - June 25, 2004
Spirit Status at end of sol 164 - 166

Spirit spent the last few sols getting into position on the rock target "Pot-of-Gold" for an upcoming grind with the rock abrasion tool. This repositioning has not been easy due to slippage in the sandy-sloped terrain at the base of the "Columbia Hills"

On sol 164, Spirit completed an overnight alpha particle X-ray spectrometer observation on Pot-of-Gold and then gathered additional microscopic images of the rock. In the afternoon, rover planners tried to reposition Spirit from a heading of about 170 degrees to a heading of about 95 degrees to improve the instrument deployment device positioning on Pot-of-Gold for the upcoming rock abrasion tool work. The planned traverse sent Spirit past Pot-of-Gold, down a slope on the west side of "Hank's Hollow," then turned the rover to re-approach at the desired heading. The slope and slippage was greater then expected, leaving the rover at a westerly tilt of 19 degrees and almost 2 meters (6.6 feet) away from the target.

Spirit worked toward getting into position in front of Pot-of-Gold on sol 165, but given the slippage and need to avoid overshooting the target, engineers anticipated it would take at least two sols to get properly repositioned. Unfortunately, the drive made less progress than desired due in part to a collection of rocks encountered by the left rear wheel.

On sol 166, Spirit took advantage of its current position and used the gathered Moessbauer data and microscopic images of the soil in front of it before continuing the hill climb. Spiritís front wheels made it over the crest, leaving the rover at about a 13-degree tilt and still about 1 meter (3.3 feet) from Pot-of-Gold.

Spirit Daily Update Archive