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Daily Updates - March 23, 2004
Spirit Status at end of sol 78

NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit woke up at 7:24 a.m. Mars Local Solar time on sol 78, which ended at 9:04 a.m. on March 23, 2004, and began a day of observations in preparation for the sol 79 grind on the rock called "Mazatzal."

After waking, Spirit warmed-up the mast actuators for some early morning soil and atmosphere miniature thermal emission spectrometer observations. It then went back to sleep before beginning the morning direct-to-earth communication session with the high gain antenna.

At 10:00 a.m. Mars Local Solar time, Spirit began analyzing the soil targets "Saber" and "Sandbox" with the mini thermal emission spectrometer. It also took panoramic camera images of "Skull" and Saber. Then it was time to unfold the instrument arm to capture microscopic imager images of three targets on Mazatzal: "Arizona," "Illinois," and "New York." The New York target was further analyzed with a 17-hour Moessbauer spectrometer integration.

While the Moessbauer was integrating, Spirit proceeded to execute several mini thermal emission spectrometer and panoramic camera observations of interesting features in the surrounding area. The observations included images of "Bonneville" crater, "Saber," "Sandbox" and "Orange Beach."

Spirit had completed all these activities by 2:40 p.m. Mars Local Solar time and then took a siesta until the afternoon Odyssey UHF pass. During that pass, the rover captured mini thermal emission spectrometer ground and sky images. Before shutting down at 5 p.m. Mars Local Solar time, Spirit positioned the panoramic camera for a nighttime observation of the moon Deimos.

Sol 79, which ends at 9:43 a.m. on March 24, 2004, will be a momentous day for Spirit's rock abrasion tool; it will complete brushings on two Mazatzal targets.

Spirit Daily Update Archive