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Spirit Sol 497

27 May 2010, 20:06 UTC
Spirit Sol 497
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We're planning two sols today, and my part could hardly be simpler: just a single tool change from APXS to MB. Less than twenty-five minutes after I arrive on Lab, I'm done for the day.Or I should be. But I have to stick around and play both my part and Ashitey's, since he's been asked to look into Spirit's RAT anomaly. This happened some weeks ago: the teeth on Spirit's RAT finally wore away (after 15 grindings, five times as many as its design required). While this was disappointing, in itself it was neither surprising nor worrisome. But what was worrisome was what happened afterward: as the bare metal below the worn-away grind head contacted the rock, the IDD lost contact with the rock face and started skipping around, vibrating the entire arm. This went on for an hour and is extremely dangerous -- it could have broken the arm. Luckily, Spirit survived this event, but we're worried about what could happen if Opportunity goes through the same thing. So Ashitey's looking into ways to keep that from happening.He's got to be down in the testbed thisol, but he promises to come back for the meetings and for this afternoon's ...

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