findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this material are
those of the developer, PASSPORT TO KNOWLEDGE, and do not necessarily
reflect those of the National Science Foundation.
PASSPORT TO KNOWLEDGE - To MARS with MER
Daily Updates - December 14, 2004
Spirit Status at end of sol 326-333
Spirit drove five of the last seven days, continuing its trek towards the top of "Husband Hill." Spirit's intermediate goal is a ridge dubbed "Larry's Lookout," which is roughly 75 meters (246 feet) away. Getting there using Spirit's current path will be a challenge given the sand, slope, and rocks in this area. Spirit paused for a set of weekend observations of a rock called "Wishstone." Total odometry for the mission is now 3,944 meters (2.45 miles).
The amount of electric current drawn by the motor on the right front wheel is in the normal range. Near the end of Spirit's long series of drives from "Bonneville Crater" to the "Columbia Hills," the right front wheel began to draw roughly twice the current of the other five wheels. The increased current prompted engineers to limit the use of this wheel to preserve its life. Since arriving at the hills, Spirit has had relatively few driving days. The rover team's current working theory on this problem suggests that the recent rest periods have allowed the lubricant in this wheel to redistribute, causing the current draw to return to normal. Periodic rest days will be included in rover drivers' plans, and Spirit will alternate forward and backward driving to keep the lubricant in all of the wheels more evenly distributed.