Mars Pathfinder

Current Rover Status

Current Rover Status
16 July, 1997
4:30 pm Pacific Daylight Time

Sol 12

Today the Sojourner traversed from Yogi to a prospective soil experiment site after successfully acquiring a spectrum from Yogi.

Sol 11

Today the Sojourner successfully returned spectral data from the rock dubbed 'Yogi'. The Rover will remain at this vicinity until the quality of the spectrum can be confirmed. The vehicle remains in good health.

Newest Rover "Movie" (15 July 1997)!

Sol 10

Today the Sojourner was directed by the Rover Driving/Uplink team to place the Alpha Proton X-ray Spectrometer on the rock dubbed 'Yogi'. This manuever was performed successfully with two of the three APXS contact sensors active indicating a virtual bulls-eye on the target rock. The Rover remains in good health. Tomorrow's downlinked data is hoped to contain the spectral data of 'Yogi' which may possibly yield new information on the geology of Mars.

Summary of Planned Rover Activities for Sol 10:

PDT MLST Rover Acivity
20:00 07:03 Sequence 51010 MARS
22:33 09:31 APXS noise evaluation
22:34 09:33 APXS Retract
22:34 09:33 Laser image experiment
23:03 10:01 Move to APXS site on Yogi
23:14 10:11 APXS Rear Color mosaic image
23:28 10:25 full front left camera mosaic image
00:05 11:01 full front right camera mosaic image
01:06 12:01 MAE experiment
03:09 14:01 Three MAE experiments
04:43 15:31 APXS night ops read
06:14 17:00 APXS night ops read
08:04 18:47 APXS night ops read
13:04 23:39 APXS Night Ops Prep
16:04 02:34 APXS night ops read
20:38 07:01 End of Nominal Sequence
Sol 9

Commands for the next day of activities for Mars Pathfinder were not sent last night because the Pathfinder spacecraft's receiver had not been turned on in advance of the uplink session.

NASA's Deep Space Network conducts a routine frequency sweep before uplink sessions each day. The Goldstone, CA station initiated this sweep yesterday at about 1:35 p.m. PDT, when it came online. Because Pathfinder's receiver is only turned on at specific times each day to conserve power, it was not scheduled to be turned on until 1:46 p.m., an 11-minute miscalculation. Therefore the planned command link to the spacecraft was not established.

The operations team did not discover the problem until it was ready to begin its downlink session at 9:12 p.m. PDT last night. That 30-minute downlink would have been followed by a later downlink of data at 10:30 p.m. to 12:20 a.m.

The lost transmission session did not impact the mission in any way, except to delay the rover and lander activities. The operations team will retransmit the same set of sequences tonight during the 8 p.m. PDT session.

Activities planned for today will repeat the tasks not completed yesterday, including backing Sojourner down from Yogi and repositioning its science instrument against the rock. A full color panorama is also planned.

Meanwhile, all spacecraft and rover systems are performing well. Today is Sol 8 of the Mars Pathfinder mission.

Newest Rover "movie" (10 July 1997)!

Summary of Planned Rover Activities for Sol 4:

PDT MLST Rover Acivity
15:21 07:02 Sequence 50310 MARS
18:28 10:05 Read out final APXS data from night of sol 2
18:29 10:06 APXS site image
18:43 10:19 APXS Retract
18:57 10:32 Perform short soil mechanics experiment
20:30 12:03 MAE experiment
20:30 12:03 Traverse to possible APXS rock site
20:34 12:07 APXS Deploy
20:37 12:10 EOD imaging
20:48 12:21 Calibration imaging of lasers
22:33 14:03 MAE experiment
02:04 17:28 APXS night ops read
04:04 19:25 APXS night ops read
06:04 21:22 APXS night ops read
08:04 23:18 APXS night ops read
10:04 01:15 APXS night ops read
16:00 07:02 APXS night ops read


"Six wheels on soil!" The above image was taken by the IMP camera on July 5, 1997. Sojourner's descent down the rear rover deployment ramp was successful. The microrover's seven month journey from Earth to Mars is complete. The soil beneath Sojourner (with tracks showing behind the right rear wheel) will be the first target of the Alpha Proton X-Ray Spectrometer.

Animation of the Rover rolling onto the surface of Mars!

This is an image taken by the lander's camera of Sojourner on the afternoon of Sol 4. The APXS instrument is clearly shown deployed on the surface. During the night of Sol 4, Sojourner will acquire spectra data from the APXS which will then be used to determine the elemental composition of this particular soil patch. Rover Telecom display from Sol4 data. The telecom system worked very well on this day and its operating conditions are better understood as compared to earlier Sol's. This image depicts one of a number graphical displays used to analyze rover engineering data. This particular display shows plots of the internal and external temperatures of the rover starting on the evening of Sol3, throught the night into the morning and afternoon of Sol4. Times are indicated in Mars Local Time. The MAE temperature sensor located on the rovers solar panel gets down to -88.0 C in the early morning before sunrise. It gets colder than the other external temperature sensors because the surface to which it is mounted radiates its heat to the sky (i.e, deep space). With such a thin atmosphere the amount of raditive loss to the sky is much greater than on Earth. The internal temperature fluctuate between 40C and -22C clearly indicating how well the rover's thermal enclosure is working.

This image depicts one of a number graphical displays used to analyze rover engineering data. This particular display contains several views of the rover (side, back, plan) in which the position of the rocker arms, bogies, APXS deployment mechanism, and state of the contact sensors is represented based upon the measured telemetry data. The particular configuration show corresponds to the configuration of the rover in the afternoon of Sol 4 after it had deployed the APXS down to the surface in preparation for acquiring soil spectra. The solid red box on the APXS sensor head indicates that it was this contact sensor that detected the presense of the surface when the mechanism was being deployed. The rover is also rolled slightly to the right (by 7.1 degrees) and pitched upward (by 4.7 degrees). The pitch and roll provide information as to the slope and contour of the surface upon which the rover is sitting. This image depicts one of a number of graphical displays used to analyze rover engineering data. This particular display contains an overhead view of the landing site. The path taken by Sojourner on its way to the rock "Yogi" is depicted. The information contained in this display is based upon the actual telemetry data acquired by Sojourner. The small jog in the middle of the trajectory corresponds to the move that Sojourner made when it approached the rock "Barnacle Bill", simply represented by the larger rectangular object. Mission analysis can zoom in an out of the actual display and play back the actual motion. This is an image taken by the rover's front right camera of the bottom portion of the rock affectionately called "Yogi". This image was taken on the afternoon of Sol 4. The rover was about 0.5 meters away from the rock when the image was taken. Numerous features on the rock and the soil are clearly visible in the image. The rock in the lower portion of the image was actually disturbed by the rover when it drove up to "Yogi". The upper edge of the rock is clearly visiable whereas in earlier images the soil flowed evenly over the upper portion of this rock. Up-close images of rocks and surface features like this are what the scientists have been longing for and can only be acquired by a vehicle which can navigate to sites of interest.

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