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Spirit Sol 1069

5 Jan 2012, 13:21 UTC
Spirit Sol 1069
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As of this sol, we're starting our fourth Earth year on Mars. For Spirit, at least; Opportunity's anniversary doesn't happen for another few weeks.But we're celebrating it in a big way, with an aggressive drive to the Troll outcrop. Yestersol's IDD autoplace checkout got killed because it was taking too much time, but it looks like it was running OK. It just took it a little longer than expected to find targets, and when it got killed, the sequence was in the final cleanup phase anyway. So we're good to go.But go where? The scientists would like us to go to the part of Troll nicknamed "Riquelme," but there's a slight problem with that. When you look carefully at our current position, it appears that Riquelme isn't just under the left solar panel, it's under the left middle wheel. That means we drove over it with at least that wheel, probably also with the left front wheel, and we'll drive over it even more getting away. When we do that, we contaminate the target with tracked-in dirt and also with small amounts of metal from the wheel itself, and in a case like this, that makes the target less attractive ...

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