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Spirit Rover Nearly Ready to Roll



 
 
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  #1  
Old January 12th 04, 04:19 PM
Ron
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Posts: n/a
Default Spirit Rover Nearly Ready to Roll

MEDIA RELATIONS OFFICE
JET PROPULSION LABORATORY
CALIFORNIA INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY
NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION
PASADENA, CALIFORNIA 91109. TELEPHONE (818) 354-5011
http://www.jpl.nasa.gov

Franklin O'Donnell (818) 354-5011
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.

Donald Savage (202) 358-1547
NASA Headquarters, Washington, D.C.

NEWS RELEASE: 2004-15 January 11, 2004

Spirit Rover Nearly Ready to Roll

NASA's Spirit rover now has its arm and all six of its wheels free,
and only a single cable must be cut before it can turn and roll off
its lander onto the soil of Mars. As that milestone is completed,
scientists are taking opportunities to take extra pictures and other
data.

During the past 24 hours -- the rover's 8th martian day on the planet,
or "sol 8" -- pyro devices were fired slicing cables to free the
rover's middle wheels and releasing pins that held in place its
instrumented arm. The arm was then locked onto a hook where it will
be stowed when the rover is driving.

Because one airbag remains adjacent to the lander's forward ramp, the
rover will turn about 120 degrees to its right and exit the lander
from the side facing west-northwest on the planet -- also the
direction of an intriguing depression that scientists have dubbed
Sleepy Hollow.

Current plans call for the rover to complete that turn in three steps,
said Arthur Amador, one of the mission managers at NASA's Jet
Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. As currently envisioned,
during the coming martian day engineers will complete ground tests and
execute dress rehearsals of the drive-off, or "egress."

On sol 10 -- the night of Monday-Tuesday, Jan. 12-13, California time
-- engineers expect to sever the umbilical cord that connects the
rover to its lander by firing a pyro device, the last of 126 pyro
firings since Spirit separated from its cruise stage shortly before
landing on Jan. 4 (Jan. 3 in U. S. time zones). Also on that day, the
rover will execute the first of three parts of its turn when it moves
clockwise (as viewed from above) about 45 degrees.

After taking and analyzing pictures to verify the first part of the
turn, engineers anticipate completing it on sol 11 (night of
Tuesday-Wednesday, Jan. 13-14). First, the rover will turn an
additional 50 degrees and stop to take pictures. Then, if all is
well, it will turn a final 20 to 25 degrees to position it precisely
in front of one of its three exit ramps.

If no issues crop up as those steps are completed, the rover could
drive off onto the martian soil no earlier than sol 12 (night of
Wednesday-Thursday, Jan. 14-15). "But we adjust our schedule every
day, based on flight events, so this remains an estimate," said
Amador.

The rover's status overall is "pretty darn perfect," said Amador. He
described the communication link from Mars to Earth as excellent,
allowing the team to receive 170 megabits of data during the past day.
All science data stored on the rover has been sent to Earth. The
rover is generating 900 watt-hours of power per day and using 750
watt-hours, and its thermal condition is good, he added.

While engineers are completing and testing commands to execute the
rover's turn and egress, the science team is enjoying an "unexpected
dividend" of time to collect data, said Dr. John Callas, Mars
Exploration Rover science manager at JPL.

Until now, all science observations have been planned far in advance,
but the unfolding schedule of rover activities gave the team the
opportunity to do their first on-the-fly planning for observations
driven by previous results, Callas explained. In doing so they segued
to a working style that they will practice on a day to day basis as
the rover rolls across the surface of its landing site in Gusev
Crater, named the Columbia Memorial Station.

In the next 24 hours, the team will collect 270 megabits of science
data, considerably more than on any previous martian day. This will
include a high-quality, 14-color mosaic taken by the panoramic camera
of a third of the horizon toward Sleepy Hollow, the direction in which
the rover will leave its lander.

In addition, they plan to complete two remaining "octants" (each a pie
slice showing an eighth of the horizon) with the rover's miniature
thermal emission spectrometer. These areas will also be
rephotographed with the rover's panoramic camera in order to allow the
camera and spectrometer data to be co-registered. Plans also call for
the spectrometer to "stare" at three selected sites to collect very
low-noise data, as well as calibration of another science instrument,
the alpha particle X-ray spectrometer.

Spirit's twin Mars Exploration Rover, Opportunity, will reach Mars on
Jan. 25 (Universal Time and EST; Jan. 24 PST). The rovers' main task
is to spend three months exploring for clues in rocks and soil about
whether the landing sites may have had abundant water for long enough
in the past for life to appear. Pictures and detailed information
from the mission is available at the project's Web site:

http://marsrovers.jpl.nasa.gov

JPL, a division of the California Institute of Technology, manages the
Mars Exploration Rover project for NASA's Office of Space Science,
Washington.

-end-
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  #2  
Old January 13th 04, 10:23 AM
Beau Webber
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Posts: n/a
Default Spirit Rover Nearly Ready to Roll

(Ron) wrote in message . com...
MEDIA RELATIONS OFFICE
JET PROPULSION LABORATORY
CALIFORNIA INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY
NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION
PASADENA, CALIFORNIA 91109. TELEPHONE (818) 354-5011
http://www.jpl.nasa.gov

Franklin O'Donnell (818) 354-5011
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.

Donald Savage (202) 358-1547
NASA Headquarters, Washington, D.C.

NEWS RELEASE: 2004-15 January 11, 2004

Spirit Rover Nearly Ready to Roll

NASA's Spirit rover now has its arm and all six of its wheels free,
and only a single cable must be cut before it can turn and roll off
its lander onto the soil of Mars. As that milestone is completed,
scientists are taking opportunities to take extra pictures and other
data.

.....
In the next 24 hours, the team will collect 270 megabits of science
data, considerably more than on any previous martian day. This will
include a high-quality, 14-color mosaic taken by the panoramic camera
of a third of the horizon toward Sleepy Hollow, the direction in which
the rover will leave its lander.

In addition, they plan to complete two remaining "octants" (each a pie
slice showing an eighth of the horizon) with the rover's miniature
thermal emission spectrometer. These areas will also be
rephotographed with the rover's panoramic camera in order to allow the
camera and spectrometer data to be co-registered.


Ron - We are getting fantastic pictures - but can I put in a plea for
more full colour stereo pairs to be released - since the original
navcam stereo panoramic pair all the stereo pictures have been
red/green.

I have written and made available on the web a stereo panoramic viewer
program, for people to pan and zoom into stereo panoramic pairs from
the Rovers - see :

StereoPanorama
at
http://www.lab-tools.com
or
http://www.kent.ac.uk/physical-scien...ama/index.html

cheers,
beau webber
  #3  
Old January 13th 04, 04:03 PM
Frank Reichenbacher
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Spirit Rover Nearly Ready to Roll


"Beau Webber" wrote in message
om...
(Ron) wrote in message

. com...
MEDIA RELATIONS OFFICE
JET PROPULSION LABORATORY
CALIFORNIA INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY
NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION
PASADENA, CALIFORNIA 91109. TELEPHONE (818) 354-5011
http://www.jpl.nasa.gov

Franklin O'Donnell (818) 354-5011
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.

Donald Savage (202) 358-1547
NASA Headquarters, Washington, D.C.

NEWS RELEASE: 2004-15 January 11, 2004

Spirit Rover Nearly Ready to Roll

NASA's Spirit rover now has its arm and all six of its wheels free,
and only a single cable must be cut before it can turn and roll off
its lander onto the soil of Mars. As that milestone is completed,
scientists are taking opportunities to take extra pictures and other
data.

....
In the next 24 hours, the team will collect 270 megabits of science
data, considerably more than on any previous martian day. This will
include a high-quality, 14-color mosaic taken by the panoramic camera
of a third of the horizon toward Sleepy Hollow, the direction in which
the rover will leave its lander.

In addition, they plan to complete two remaining "octants" (each a pie
slice showing an eighth of the horizon) with the rover's miniature
thermal emission spectrometer. These areas will also be
rephotographed with the rover's panoramic camera in order to allow the
camera and spectrometer data to be co-registered.


Ron - We are getting fantastic pictures - but can I put in a plea for
more full colour stereo pairs to be released - since the original
navcam stereo panoramic pair all the stereo pictures have been
red/green.

I have written and made available on the web a stereo panoramic viewer
program, for people to pan and zoom into stereo panoramic pairs from
the Rovers - see :

StereoPanorama
at
http://www.lab-tools.com
or

http://www.kent.ac.uk/physical-scien...ama/index.html

cheers,
beau webber



This would be nice, but let's not get ahead of ourselves. After the images,
the *first* thing we need is some georeferencing. How about, N, S, E, W on
the panorama? I saw one view, carefully hidden on the website, showing the
landing site from overhead with an arrow pointing to the spot. How about a
scale? Again, N, S, E, W markers?

Frank




  #4  
Old January 13th 04, 06:50 PM
David Knisely
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Spirit Rover Nearly Ready to Roll

Frank posted:

This would be nice, but let's not get ahead of ourselves. After the images,
the *first* thing we need is some georeferencing. How about, N, S, E, W on
the panorama? I saw one view, carefully hidden on the website, showing the
landing site from overhead with an arrow pointing to the spot. How about a
scale? Again, N, S, E, W markers?


To get the approximate directions on the new 360 degree pan is actually fairly
simple. The large scale pan can be divided into four equal-sized images. The
center of each of those divided segments is very roughly set up to be one of
the cardinal directions. The first of the four would be north, the second
would be east, the third would be south and the fourth (the one of the four on
the right) would be west. The large clump of hills, for example, is roughly
southeast of the lander. As far as the images from orbit showing the landing
site, north is almost always at the top. Clear skies to you.
--
David W. Knisely
Prairie Astronomy Club:
http://www.prairieastronomyclub.org
Hyde Memorial Observatory: http://www.hydeobservatory.info/

**********************************************
* Attend the 11th Annual NEBRASKA STAR PARTY *
* July 18-23, 2004, Merritt Reservoir *
* http://www.NebraskaStarParty.org *
**********************************************



  #5  
Old January 14th 04, 01:27 AM
Frank Reichenbacher
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Spirit Rover Nearly Ready to Roll



"David Knisely" wrote in message
...
Frank posted:

This would be nice, but let's not get ahead of ourselves. After the

images,
the *first* thing we need is some georeferencing. How about, N, S, E, W

on
the panorama? I saw one view, carefully hidden on the website, showing

the
landing site from overhead with an arrow pointing to the spot. How about

a
scale? Again, N, S, E, W markers?


To get the approximate directions on the new 360 degree pan is actually

fairly
simple. The large scale pan can be divided into four equal-sized images.

The
center of each of those divided segments is very roughly set up to be one

of
the cardinal directions. The first of the four would be north, the second
would be east, the third would be south and the fourth (the one of the

four on
the right) would be west. The large clump of hills, for example, is

roughly
southeast of the lander. As far as the images from orbit showing the

landing
site, north is almost always at the top. Clear skies to you.


I posted that note just as I walked out the door to go to work. I just now
got the chance to look at the Mars Rover website this evening and what do I
see? Maps with directional arrows and scales.

It looks great. Exactly what I was hoping for. Thanks Ron!

Frank

--
David W. Knisely
Prairie Astronomy Club:
http://www.prairieastronomyclub.org
Hyde Memorial Observatory: http://www.hydeobservatory.info/

**********************************************
* Attend the 11th Annual NEBRASKA STAR PARTY *
* July 18-23, 2004, Merritt Reservoir *
* http://www.NebraskaStarParty.org *
**********************************************





  #6  
Old January 14th 04, 05:03 PM
Joe Knapp
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Spirit Rover Nearly Ready to Roll


"David Knisely" wrote
The large clump of hills, for example, is roughly
southeast of the lander.


Per yesterday's press briefing, they are currently calling these the
"eastern hills," but a more poetic name is reportedly under consideration.
The current plan is to investigate a nearby crater (250 meters) which is the
deepest one within range. After that, they will head for the hills and see
how close they can get! Pretty dramatic I'd say.

Here's a crop of the eastern hills:

http://www.copperas.com/astro/easthills.jpg

And closer:

http://www.copperas.co/astro/easthills2.jpg

Joe


 




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