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Update: Spirit and Opportunity

M I S S I O N     M A N A G E R S   
Scott Lever, Mission manager Mike Seibert, Mission manager Al Herrera, Mission manager
Scott Lever Mike Seibert Al Herrera

SPIRIT UPDATE:  Spirit Remains Silent at Troy - sols 2621-2627, May 18-24, 2011:

More than 1,300 commands were radiated to Spirit as part of the recovery effort in an attempt to elicit a response from the rover. No communication has been received from Spirit since Sol 2210 (March 22, 2010). The project concluded the Spirit recovery efforts on May 25, 2011. The remaining, pre-sequenced ultra-high frequency (UHF) relay passes scheduled for Spirit on board the Odyssey orbiter will complete on June 8, 2011.

Total odometry is unchanged at 7,730.50 meters (4.80 miles).

Spirit Update Archive


OPPORTUNITY UPDATE:  Driving Up a Steep Slope - sols 4610-4616, January 11, 2017-January 17, 2017:

Opportunity is located on the rim of Endeavour Crater, heading south along the rim.

The rover is trying to make progress towards the next major scientific objective, the gully about a kilometer south of the current location. However, the local terrain has been a challenge with steep slopes (over 20 degrees) and terrain that breaks down into loose material under the driving shear forces of the rover's wheels.

On Sol 4611 (Jan. 12, 2017), Opportunity attempted to drive up a steep slope, but flight software stopped the drive after just 4 feet (1.25 meters) when it sensed that the wheels were drawing too much current, a possible indicator of embedding. Drive imagery showed the surface material crumbling and causing the wheels to slip. That drive was part of a three-sol plan that included a late-night MAVEN Ultra High Frequency (UHF) relay pass. Because the MAVEN pass required the rover to stay up near midnight, a nighttime Demos moon observation was successfully captured and returned over the MAVEN pass. On the next sol, no relay data were returned from the rover because the Odyssey orbiter's low-elevation flight pass was occulted by the elevated horizon.

To get Opportunity going again, the rover was commanded on Sol 4614 (Jan. 15, 2017), to back down about half a meter then turn left and travel more cross slope to exposed rock outcrop. This was successful with the rover completing all 48 feet (14.67 meters) of the commanded drive with little slip. An atmospheric argon measurement by the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) was also performed on the same sol after the drive. As is the case after each move, Opportunity collects extensive imagery to support both driving and science.

As of Sol 4615 (Jan. 16, 2017), the solar array energy production was 500 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.657 and a solar array dust factor of 0.670.

Total odometry is 27.21 miles (43.79 kilometers).

Opportunity Update Archive

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