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2004 03 16, March 16th, 2004
post Sep 30 2004, 07:43 PM
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Hello, today is March 16th 2004. This is the Flight Director report. I am George Chen, Flight Director of MER-A Spirit.

Today is sol 72 for MER Spirit. We’re still at the rim of Bonneville crater. Yesterday we drove about 18 meters to another target along the rim of the crater so we’ve been driving about due south onto the crater rim. And today we are at a structure known as ‘Serpent Dune’, and you can see an image of that toward my right here, which is a dunelike sandy structure that’s along the rim of the crater.
Today we plan to drive up to the dune itself and then do some turn-in-places or the rover’s turning. The goal is to scuff up that dune so we can look at the targets underneath the sandlayer. So we’re gonna get out there and really try to scrape up that dune so that we can take some images, some Mini-TES images and possibly put the spectrometers on the arm, the IDD arm, down on it tomorrow to study the soil underneath.

On the other side of the planet, MER-B Opportunity is still exploring the crater they landed in. They backed away from a target they’ve been looking at, called ‘Sharktooth’. And they drove about 15 meters along the rim of that small crater, now pointed towards the south. And they’ve driven up along the rim of the crater. They’re tilted quite a bit upward right now and they’re gonna study the soil there during the next sol which would be sol 52, today is sol 51. And they took a picture with the rear HazCamera, which is in the image to my left here, and in the picture you can see the lander, so they haven’t driven that far from the lander because there’s so much interesting science observations to be made right here in the crater.
So they are gonna spend the next day or so studying the soil at this part of the crater which has not been explored yet by Opportunity.

So that’s what’s happening on Mars today.
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