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NASA MER Ten-Year Anniversary Nears

Status Report From: Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Posted: Wednesday, January 22, 2014

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OPPORTUNITY UPDATE:  Ten-Year Anniversary Nears - sols 3535-3540, Jan. 02, 2014-Jan. 07, 2014:

Opportunity landed on Mars on Jan. 24, 2004 PST (Jan. 25, 2004 UTC) on what was to be a three-month mission, but instead the rover has lived beyond its prime mission and roved the planet for nearly 10 years.

Mission highlights, including a gallery of selected images from both rovers is at http://mars.nasa.gov/mer10/ .

Opportunity is currently at 'Solander Point' at the rim of Endeavour Crater, maintaining favorable northerly tilts for improved energy production.

The rover is positioned on the edge of an exposed outcrop where orbital observations suggest the possible presence of small amounts of clay minerals. The rover has been finishing up analysis of the 'Cape Darby' area before moving on toward what the team believes will be her winter location.

On Sol 3535 (Jan. 2, 2014) Opportunity finished up work on an offset target 'Cape Darby 2,' performing Microscopic Imaging (MI) and Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) placement. The rover then bumped to a new target 'Cape Elizabeth' on Sol 3540 (Jan. 7, 2014). In the meantime she took a few anniversary inspired images of herself and her tracks.

As of Sol 3540 (Jan. 7, 2014), the solar array energy production has improved to 360 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.563 and a solar array dust factor of 0.555.

Total odometry is 24.07 miles (38.73 kilometers).

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