NASA Mars Rover Opportunity Update: Nov 15-19, 2012


image OPPORTUNITY UPDATE: 'Matijevic Hill' Survey Complete And Rover Passes 22 Miles Of Driving! - sols 3133-3136, Nov. 15, 2012-Nov. 19, 2012:

Opportunity has completed the local area survey around the location called "Matijevic Hill" (named in honor of Jake Matijevic) at the inboard edge of Cape York on the rim of Endeavour Crater.

Now, the rover is focusing on conducting an in-situ (contact) science campaign on some high-value surface targets. The rover drove 81 feet (24.6 meters) on Sol 3133 (Nov. 15, 2012), approaching a candidate surface target. Opportunity bumped into position for some robotic arm work with a 31-inch (80-centimeter) forward move on Sol 3135 (Nov. 18. 2012).

On Sol 3133 (Nov. 15, 2012), the rover began to detect an increase in atmospheric opacity (Tau). Coincident with that the Mars Color Imager (MARCI) team on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) observed a large regional dust storm, with high atmospheric opacity in the center of the storm, heading in the direction of the rover. The project remained vigilant over the weekend. Fortunately, the storm passed to the south of the rover, but Opportunity continues to see an increase in atmospheric dust.

As of Sol 3136 (Nov. 19, 2012), the solar array energy production was 539 watt-hours with an increased atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.897 and a solar array dust factor of 0.612.

Total odometry is 22 miles (35,429.63 meters).

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