NASA Mars Rover Opportunity Update: January 22-28, 2014

Status Report From: Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Posted: Saturday, February 1, 2014

OPPORTUNITY UPDATE:  Work on Mystery Rock Continues As Rover Marks 10 Years on Mars - sols 3554-3560, Jan. 22, 2014-Jan. 28, 2014:

Opportunity is up on 'Solander Point' at the rim of Endeavour Crater. The rover is continuing to investigate this curious surface rock, called 'Pinnacle Island' that apparently was kicked up by the rover during a recent traverse.

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

On Sol 3554 (Jan. 22, 2014), with a difficult robotic arm wrist motion preventing a simple target offset, Opportunity instead lifted the robotic arm out of the way for a 13-filter Panoramic Camera (Pancam) image of the target Pinnacle Island, then placed the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) back down on the same location.

On Sol 3555 (Jan. 23, 2014), the rover attempted a very small turn-in-place of only 1.4 degrees to reach a new location on the target. The initial wheel motion achieved sufficient turn magnitude, but the wheel straightening undid that motion so the target position was not reached. This was not surprising since very small motions are very difficult to achieve with the rover. On Sol 3557 (Jan. 25 2014), this motion was attempted again, but this time a 'tank turn' was used and achieved the necessary result. The rover continued with 13-filter Pancam imagery and an APXS atmospheric argon measurement. On Sol 3560 (Jan. 28, 2014), the robotic arm collected a Microscopic Imager (MI) mosaic of the new location on Pinnacle Island, followed by the placement of the APXS on the same.

As of Sol 3560 (Jan. 28, 2014), the solar array energy production was 361 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.572 and a solar array dust factor of 0.590.

Total odometry is 24.07 miles (38.73 kilometers).

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