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Spirit Sol 1068

4 Jan 2012, 12:41 UTC
Spirit Sol 1068
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Happy New Year, everybody! It's January 3, which means that tonight at 8:35PM Pacific Time is the 3-year anniversary of Spirit's landing.We always take care in sequencing, but never more than when we have an anniversary like this one. You don't want the story of your three-year anniversary to be that you hurt the rover -- not that you'd want that any other day, of course.So we're particularly careful about planning the drive to Troll. Troll is an outcrop just a few meters from our Winter Haven. Currently, it's under our left solar panel, but we think we can get there -- although, with the high tau we've been experiencing lately, we're concerned that the obvious approach to Troll leaves us with an unfavorable tilt.At least we'll be able to gather lots of data about the drive -- Spirit's got only 10.3Mbits of data on the file system, perhaps an historic low!Except that we won't be able to do the drive after all. Not today, anyway. It turns out tau is even higher than we thought, which means we have less energy to play with than we thought. So the drive will have to wait for another day.Instead, we're going ...

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