Good afternoon, my name is Leo Bister. I’m Flight Director today for the MER project. Here’s what’s happening on Mars.
Spirit spacecraft is on its way from Bonneville crater to the Columbia hills. We are taking a pause here, about a four day pause, to do a flight software load. Today we loaded 60 files in about a 6 hour period and that’s about a third of the way towards getting all the files onboard that we need to reboot its new flight software. That flight software among other things will allow us to drive more efficiently in the days ahead. And so we’re looking forward to getting that software onboard and operational.
Now during this time our IDD, our instrument arm, is deployed. The Mossbauer instrument is down on a rock called Route 66. The APXS instrument is pointed sort of skyward and we’ll be doing science with both of those instruments over the next few days.
Opportunity will also be getting a new flight software load starting tomorrow. We’ll start loading the files for Opportunity tomorrow. Yesterday what we did was we dug a trench using one of the rover wheels. What we do is we hold five wheels steady, we rotate one wheel, and that allows us to dig a trench. In doing so we dug a trench that was about eleven centimeters deep and what we plan to do during our flight software load on Opportunity is we plan to put the Mossbauer down on the tailings, some of the dirt from that dig and do some science there and also do some APXS with it pointed skyward.
Both vehicles remain healthy and we’re looking forward to as I said our new flight software load. And that’s what’s happening on Mars today. Have a nice day.