Hello, welcome to the Flight Director report for Mars Exploration Rover. Today is June 9th 2004.
Over on Spirit it is sol 154 that we just finished today and the rover is on its final approach to Columbia Hills. We’re currently about 90 meters away from the base of the hills. We’re taking this opportunity over the last couple of days as we approach the hills to try to take some scientific measurements of the hills, so we’ve taken a PanCam survey way back on sol 149 and today we did a Mini-TES image of the hills, so the idea is to understand the structure of the hills as we start to drive up to them. Today, sol 154, we achieved about 49 meters towards our destination, which is the foot of the hills there.
On the other side of the planet, Opportunity has had a couple of really exciting days. The sol 133 plan took the rover about six wheels all way into the crater. So this is a small what we call a toedip drive into the crater just to be able to take some images from a different vantage point and to checkout our models on the slopes and slippage of the rover as it drives into the crater. After that little six wheel drive into the crater, we backed back out to the outside and spent the night outside the crater, and looked at the data. And it looks like the slope information is pretty much what the models predicted with about an 18 degree slope going down into the crater, but getting steeper as it goes further in.
Today on sol 134, we just after that little bit of a more confidence driving into the crater, we drove a total of four meters into the crater and we’re gonna back up just about 1.4 meters back out, so not all the way out of the crater. And in fact we’ll spend the night inside the crater for the first time. So as we evaluate the data and understand a little bit how the rover is able to traverse, we’ll get more confidence driving inside the crater and we’ll be able to approach some of the very interesting targets of opportunity inside the crater.
And that’s what’s happening on Mars today.