More stuff from Mars

Asa writes about the new stuff coming down from the second Odyssey pass.

Raw Pancams
Raw DIMES Pictures

On Spirit, Pete Theisinger says:

Spirit is still serious but moving toward guarded…[l]et me describe today’s truth. We went through a few resets because of DSN problems. Not the rover’s fault, ours. We got the flash metadata indicating that the flash hardware is fine. File management software not robust enough for our operations. Two other theories not as well in competition. One, some kind of error or hardware issue on motor control board. Two, the solar event on Wednesday. Flash memories can be sensitive to high energy when being read from or written to. Tomorrow we’ll have more of the same. I think we’re kind of on the way to a normal recovery here…[O]nce again, don’t expect us to be driving for a couple weeks, maybe three.

About the crater that they believe they landed in, Steve Squyres says:

The crater that we are in is roughly 20 meters in diameter. You’re seeing the rim all around us. We don’t have the depth, probably a couple meters deep. When you look off in the distance you can see that wonderful rock outcrop. We’ve got those two geologic features within 10 meters :) It’s right there in front of us, exposed. And then we have this fine-grained stuff which must be the hematite. In principal, we could spend the entire mission in this crater but there’s nice stuff out there.

Sounds like opportunity and spirit are both on their way to excellent missions!

Here’s a closeup of that rocky outcropping:

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Here’s a picture Opportunity took during descent. The large crater is probably withing 10km of the rover’s current position and the rover is probably sitting inside one of the smaller craters in this picture:

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Thanks to Asa as always for the simply excellent transcriptions!