Spirit press briefing
They got beeps last night at 8:30 pm when Mars Global Surveyor made a pass over the rover. Beeps. Random noise, but no data.
They're taking another day to get more data and think about what they want to do with this anomaly before deciding what to do about Spirit during Opportunity's Entry, Descent and Landing, which takes place Saturday. (Some people who are working this problem need to be on hand for EDL; they'd originally planned a 3-day stand down where Spirit would be on an extended task that didn't need monitoring.)
They think the hardware is okay. If it's a software or a computer memory program problem, they might be able to let things set and get back to it after Opportunity's Landing. If it's a problem with the power supply, they won't be able to suspend activity with Spirit in the same way.
(EDL command was sent for Opportunity)
Tomorrow 9am scheduled science briefing on Opportunity's Landing Site; 10am Spirit update.
Also a mention of something that just took place but needed confirming: right before the 9am briefing, they sent a command to Spirit, "if you get this, send back a beep" and during briefing, they received the beep, which indicated that Spirit's in fault mode. But need to confirm because they want to make sure it was *signal* and not noise in the Deep Space Network.
UPDATE: Asa at adot's notblog* covered the briefing in more detail. Check it out.
Ground controllers were able to send commands to the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit early Wednesday and received a simple signal acknowledging that the rover heard them, but they did not receive expected scientific and engineering data during scheduled communication passes during the rest of that martian day.
As of 8:30 pm Wednesday night, they're trying again after Spirit wakes up for a new Martian Day (Sol 19). (Don't know yet how serious it is; this kinda thing happened before with Pathfinder back in '97.)
More news to come at the Thursday morning 9am (PST) briefing.