Spirit has passed 2,000 sols on the surface of Mars, yet another milestone. Starting its third sol millennia, Spirit continues to profile the geology at the location where the rover is embedded, a site called “Troy” on the west side of “Home Plate.”
On Sol 1995 (Aug. 13, 2009), Spirit continued the campaign of grinding deeper into surface targets, then collecting in situ (contact) measurements at each grind depth.
The rock abrasion tool (RAT) executed a grind on the target “Polyphemus_Eye_2.” Then the panoramic camera (Pancam) and the microscopic imager (MI) took images of where the grind had been performed, and the robotic arm placed the alpha particle X-ray spectrometer (APXS) on the freshly-ground target.
On the next sol, the rover changed tools to the Mossbauer (MB) spectrometer and placed it on the target for an overnight integration. The rover continued on the next sol with an MI mosaic of a different target, “Olive_Leaf,” followed by an APXS placement on that target. On the following sol, the MB was placed on target Polyphemus for a multi-sol integration.
On Earth, the surface system testbed (SSTB) rover extraction testing continues in preparation for the first extraction moves on Mars.
Atmospheric conditions over Spirit have deteriorated owing to a regional dust storm. As of Sol 2001 (Aug. 19, 2009), the rover solar-array energy production was down to 744 watt-hours with atmospheric opacity (tau) increasing to 0.718 and the dust factor remaining around 0.8315. Spirit’s total odometry remained at 7,729.93 meters (4.80 miles).