NASA Mars Rover Opportunity Update: July 9-17, 2014

Status Report From: Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Posted: Monday, August 4, 2014


OPPORTUNITY UPDATE:  Opportunity Heads South Towards Valley A Mile Away - sols 3718-3725, July 09, 2014-July 17, 2014:

Opportunity is exploring south along the west rim of Endeavour Crater heading toward a valley over 1 mile (2 kilometers) away observed with clay minerals from orbit.

The rover has been busy with driving on six of the last eight days (sols) with some robotic work on one of the two non-driving sols. Opportunity moved a total of 797 feet (243 meters) over the eight-sol period, collecting targeted Panoramic Camera (Pancam) images before each drive and Navigation Camera (Navcam) panoramas after each drive. The vehicle did experience another Flash-induced reset event during the drive on Sol 3724 (July 15, 2014). Although these resets have occurred before, this was the first time that it happened during a drive. The flight team was able to restore normal operations with the rover on the very next sol. The project continues to investigate these Flash-related anomalies.

The one sol of in-situ (contact) science was the first sol of a two-sol autonomous 'touch 'n go' where the rover used the robotic arm (the 'touch') on Sol 3720 (July 11, 2014), to collect a Microscopic Imager mosaic of the surface target 'Trebia,' followed by an overnight contact integration measurement performed by the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS). On the next sol (Sol 2721; July 12, 2014), the rover drove (the 'go') over 213 feet (65 meters) with mid-drive imaging. Opportunity will collect an atmospheric argon measurement with the APXS on the evening of Sol 3725 (July 17, 2014). The rover is in good health and operations are nominal.

As of Sol 3725 (July 17, 2014), the solar array energy production was 652 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.780 (Sol 3724; July 15, 2014) and a solar array dust factor of 0.854 (Sol 3724).

Total odometry is 24.81 miles (39.93 kilometers).

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