Hello, this is George Chen with the Flight Director report for July 29th 2004.
Today is the 203rd day on the surface of Mars for MER-A Spirit and we are continuing our drive up a hill known as Western Spur. Yesterday, sol 202, we had a good drive of about 25.5 meters. Today we drove another 19 meters to a rock outcrop target where we will spend the next three to four days drilling a hole with the Rock Abrasion Tool, similar to the holes we drilled a few sols ago and then we will place the spectrometers down to analyse the target underneath the hole.
Just as a point of note, it is getting very cold now on the surface of Mars. Around 1 PM today when we started the drive saw that our wheels were very cold at around –60 dregrees C. So we actually had to turn on some heaters to heat up the wheels before we could begin the drive.
On the other side of the planet Mars, MER-B Opportunity, it is sol 183 as Opportunity continues exploring the interior of Endurance crater. It is our second day at target nicknamed ‘MacKenzie’. Yesterday on sol 182 we deployed the IDD arm and took some microscopic images and also drilled a Rock Abrasion Tool hole in ‘MacKenzie’. Afterwards we went into deep sleep and today we will wake up and start analysing this target with the Mossbauer and APXS spectrometers.
And that’s what’s happening on Mars today.