2009-02-12

Spirit Sol 40

I'm ashamed to admit it, but I'm tired and my attitude is slipping. I keep promising people I'll take a day off if I see this start to happen, so I decide to keep my word and stay home. This doesn't keep me from logging in remotely and doing a little work anyway.

I also catch up on the Mission Manager's daily report (written by Rob Manning today). The dunes we MId have "many millimeter-sized round rough-textured grains" -- not Marsberries, I don't think; something else not yet explained. (Rob Manning manages to remember to congratulate the rover drivers, though. Nice guy, that Rob. Smart fella, too.)

It also turns out that Stone Council was a little closer than we thought, so the rover managed to reach it this sol, correctly detecting the feature as an obstacle and stopping the drive. We'll probably explore Stone Council briefly tomorrow, then drive to Bonneville again.

Spirit has now driven about 58m total, and is 38.4m from the center of the lander. As much progress as we've made, we have a long way to go yet -- Bonneville is maybe 250m from the lander, so there's a lot of driving still to do. Fortunately, Mark Maimone has apparently worked out a way for the autonav to drive faster, giving us a chance to beat our estimates. More fun to follow.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

When we were working in earnest on the flight hardware build for FASTRAC, the University of Texas student satellite, rest became one of the big problems. There was a lot of fascinating work to be done and a lot of not-so-fascinating work to be done, a few key people, and the build was during the summer so the folks that were there had all the time in the world.

So, every so often, folks just melted down. My personal favorite time was around 1 or 2 am one night when we were putting in big bolts that hold the bottom and top plates on the satellite, and a guy who would go on to be project manager was cranking away at the torque wrench with his whole body, so there was no way he wasn't overtorquing those bolts. So we say hey, those only need to go to N foot pounds (about 100 I think). His response? "SO WHAT?"

Yeah we all went home shortly after that. Still good for a laugh to mention it.

Dave said...

I was just poking around the JPL site and found the 5-year celebration video for Spirit. It was nicely done and features a well-spoken Scott Maxwell.

It may have been mentioned and I just missed it but if I missed it someone else may have as well so here it is:
http://jpl.nasa.gov/video/index.cfm?id=801

Nice job on that Scott - were you happy with the way it turned out when you saw it for the first time?

Scott Maxwell said...

@Dave Ultimately, my answer to that question is: if you liked it, then I'm happy with it. That means we met our goal.

When I view it, I remember the state I was in when we filmed it -- I was exhausted and didn't feel fully coherent. To hear that I come across to others (I hope you're representative ;-) as well-spoken, and that the video as a whole was good, is a relief -- so, thank you! (And, I guess, thanks to JPL's obviously talented video editors. :-)