All things weird bonneville-related.
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March 26, 2004
Rover wrap up
The Mars rover Spirit has nearly ended its survey of the ejecta-strewn rim of Bonneville Crater. Mission scientists are drilling an 8-millimeter-deep RAT (rock abrasion tool) hole in a basaltic rock nicknamed Mazatzal. This is a block of ejecta on Bonneville'* rim that'* well embedded in the ground. It has a fluted upper surface deeply sculpted by wind-blown dust and sand. Scientists are drilling the hole to see if the rock changes character with depth.
After finishing at Bonneville, Spirit will drive southeast toward the Columbia Hills, which lie about 1.3 miles (2.3 kilometers) away. Scientists think the hills contain older rocks not yet encountered on the plains because more recent lava flows have buried them. The journey to the hills is expected to take between 60 and 90 sols (Mars days). On the way, the rover will survey the ground it crosses and stop as often as scientists wish to examine targets of interest.
Half the planet away in Meridiani Planum, the other rover, Opportunity, has driven out of Eagle Crater, where it landed and spent the next 57 sols. Scientists have established that the bottom of this crater contains basaltic rock that transitions into the hematite-rich layer at the surface. The hematite is concentrated in "blueberries," spherules between 1 and 3 mm across whose origin is unclear.
The mission plan for Opportunity calls for it to drive east-southeast toward Endurance Crater. There, scientists hope to examine a larger exposure of the sulfate-rich layer that formed an outcrop inside Eagle Crater. This layer was deposited at a time when the landing site was underwater, near the shore of an acidic sea.
In other developments, mission controllers plan to start shifting work schedules away from a Mars-centric time frame, in which each rover'* crew works during martian daytime for its assigned rover. The crews will return to using a normal Earth-based schedule. This is expected to make life a lot easier for the crews; the change is partly a result of the mission going smoothly. — Robert Burnham
2002 Nissan SE-R Spec V 2.5l. Six Speed Manual, Stillen exhaust, INJEN ceramic coated Intake, ECU reflash. Coming soon: headers, balance shaft delete, pre-cat delete, high flow cat, SECU.
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