Daily Updates - January 14, 2005
Spirit Status at end of sol 360-366
Currently Spirit is approximately 50 meters (164 feet) from a target called "Larry's Lookout" on a ridge line in the "Columbia Hills." During the period from sol 360 through sol 366, engineers focused on maximizing the amount of time Spirit could drive every sol with limited power. The driving is slow and difficult; Spirit is encountering many rock obstacles and patches of soft sand that are causing Spirit to either slip or dig in. Just when it looked like Spirit might not be able to reach Larry's Lookout, the rover had three successful drive sols. Spirit is in excellent health as the team looks forward to celebrating the anniversary of Opportunity's landing on Jan. 24.
Sol 360 was a repeat of sol 358's drive. Spirit performed an "S" turn and then drove straight for about 4 additional meters (13 feet). This was a refreshingly good result for the tough terrain where Spirit was located. Spirit experienced as much as 48 percent slippage during the drive, but ended up moving a total distance of 9.7 meters (31.8 feet). Spirit also performed 20 minutes of post-drive imaging.
Sol 361 was a restricted sol due to a late downlink of data needed for more extensive planning. That ruled out any driving or use of the instrument deployment device. Spirit completed almost 2 hours of remote sensing observations using the panoramic camera and miniature thermal emission spectrometer.
Sol 362 and 363 were planned in a single planning cycle. Sol 362 was another remote sensing sol. On sol 363, Spirit attempted a 10-meter (33-foot) drive. Spirit accomplished about 3 meters (10 feet) of the drive before stopping due to high wheel slippage. Spirit experienced slippage of up to 98 percent on portions of this drive. Spirit then performed 20 minutes of imaging.
On Sol 364, the rover planners devised a strategy that would attempt to recover when Spirit experienced slippage of greater than 60 percent. The drive sequence was complex and Spirit's planning team had a tight planning cycle, so engineers came painfully close to missing the uplink window. The payoff for the long day was a very good drive. Spirit accomplished 7 meters (23 feet).
Spirit performed another uphill drive on sol 365. The rover drove 9 meters (29 feet) and performed 20 minutes of post-drive imaging.
The plan on sol 366 was to continue the uphill drive toward Larry's Lookout, employing all the latest rover tricks. The drive was successful as Spirit traversed more than 12 meters (39 feet) with slip averaging less than 15 degrees. Spirit performed 30 minutes of post-drive observations. Sol 366 ended on Jan. 12.
Total odometry after sol 366 is 4,030 meters (2.5 miles).
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