View Full Version : Spirit itinerary: crater, then head for the hills
2004-Jan-13, 08:21 PM
The MER home page (http://marsrovers.jpl.nasa.gov/home/index.html) has preliminary information on the planned itinerary for Spirit: it's going to head for a crater about 250 meters away, then try for the hills to the east, which are 2-3 kilometers away. (I assume this is after the rover does some investigations close to the spacecraft and also checks out "Sleepy Hollow.")
2004-Jan-13, 08:25 PM
2004-Jan-13, 09:28 PM
Saw this on todays press briefing on streaming video earlier- nice to get an overview of the kinds of things they'll be doing soon!
2004-Jan-16, 03:53 AM
I caught some of a Steve Squires talk to the folks in the control room about the traverse plans so far. Its pretty much summarized here http://www.spaceflightnow.com/mars/mera/040115onthesurface.html.
A 3 day "stand down" around the time of the Opportunity landing is planned. They will be doing nothing on Spirit except a lengthy Mossbauer Spectrometer temperature calibration sequence. They probably won't start heading for the crater until Sol 27 or so.
I wouldn't be surprised if they don't start heading south for another 3-4 weeks after that.
Some of managers seem to be pretty confident about going past the 90 day nominal mission. Sean O'Keefe said 6-7 months in an interview, but I don't know how much I believe his comments on technical matters.
2004-Jan-16, 04:11 AM
Even at a nominal 50 meters a day, it will take Spirit over 40 sols to get to the hills, and that's assuming there aren't stops along the way. So I don't know if it will get much farther than that. I kind of like the idea of having the rover sitting on a hilltop, just waiting for someone to come along and enshrine it.
But we'll see. NASA spacecraft have a splendid history of far exceeding their "warranties," though unfortunately the harsh Martian environment will take its toll eventually.
2004-Jan-17, 04:48 PM
Here's a summary of some of the scientific questions about Gusev
The eastern hills were already identified as a key location prior to landing (p. 6). So I imagine Cabrol et al. must have been estatic when they realized how close the rover is. With good luck on all the mechanisms and environmental conditions, Spirit may be able to explore some of these features.
p.s. I tried to edit this but I still don't know why the url isn't enabled.
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