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NASA Mars Rover Opportunity Update: March 27 - April 1, 2013

Status Report From: Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Posted: Monday, April 15, 2013

OPPORTUNITY UPDATE: Quiet Period for Next Three Weeks - sols 3261-3266, Mar. 27, 2013-Apr. 01, 2013:

Opportunity is in position for the coming three-week solar conjunction period at 'Cape York' on the rim of Endeavour Crater.

This location is the last in-situ (contact) target before the rover departs from Cape York once solar conjunction is concluded.

Solar conjunction is when the Sun comes between Earth and Mars, which occurs about once every 26 months. During this time there will be diminished communications to Opportunity. The team will suspend sending the rover new commands between April 9 and April 26. The rover will continue science activities using a long-term set of commands to be sent beforehand. No new images are expected to be returned during this time.

On Sol 3262 (March 28, 2013), Opportunity raised the robotic arm out of the way so the mast-mounted Panoramic Camera (Pancam) could collect a 13-filter image of the surface location, called 'Esperance.' Then, the rover repositioned the arm to collect a Microscopic Imager (MI) mosaic and placed the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) on the same target. On Sol 3264 (March 30, 2013), Opportunity continued collecting more MI images, covering the complete extent of the target before placing the APXS down on the target 'Esperance2.'

As of Sol 3266 (April 1, 2013), the solar array energy production was 559 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.741 and a solar array dust factor of 0.636.

Total odometry is 22.15 miles (35.65 kilometers).

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