Article

Localization and physical properties experiments conducted by Spirit at Gusev Crater.

Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Washington University, St. Louis, MO 63130, USA.
Science (Impact Factor: 31.2). 09/2004; 305(5685):821-4. DOI: 10.1126/science.1099922
Source: DLR

ABSTRACT The precise location and relative elevation of Spirit during its traverses from the Columbia Memorial station to Bonneville crater were determined with bundle-adjusted retrievals from rover wheel turns, suspension and tilt angles, and overlapping images. Physical properties experiments show a decrease of 0.2% per Mars solar day in solar cell output resulting from deposition of airborne dust, cohesive soil-like deposits in plains and hollows, bright and dark rock coatings, and relatively weak volcanic rocks of basaltic composition. Volcanic, impact, aeolian, and water-related processes produced the encountered landforms and materials.

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    ABSTRACT: The Mars Exploration Rover (MER) landing sites in Gusev crater and Meridiani Planum were selected because they appeared acceptably safe for MER landing and roving and had strong indicators of liquid water. The engineering constraints critical for safe landing were addressed via comprehensive evaluation of surface and atmospheric characteristics from existing and targeted remote sensing data and models that resulted in a number of predictions of the surface characteristics of the sites, which are tested more fully herein than a preliminary assessment. Relating remote sensing signatures to surface characteristics at landing sites allows these sites to be used as ground truth for the orbital data and is essential for selecting and validating landing sites for future missions.
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Jun 5, 2014

Robert Anderson