Mars Rover Opportunity Update: Slight Cleaning of Solar Panels

sols 2873-2879, February 22-28, 2012: Opportunity is positioned on the north end of Cape York on the rim of Endeavour Crater with an approximate 15-degree northerly tilt for favorable solar energy production.

While positioned for the winter, Opportunity is conducting regular radio Doppler tracking measurements to support geo-dynamic investigations of the planet, in-situ (contact) science investigations of the rock target, "Amboy," including Microscopic Imager mosaics and long Mossbauer spectrometer integrations, and continued collection of Panoramic Camera (Pancam) images.

Radio Doppler tracking passes were performed on Sols 2873, 2875, 2877 and 2878 (Feb. 22, 24, 26 and 27). Microscopic Imager mosaics were performed on Sols 2873, 2874 and 2879 (Feb. 22, 23 and 28). The Mossbauer spectrometer was placed down again on Amboy for further integration time after each Microscopic Imager mosaic. Additional 13-filter Pancam images of foreground targets were taken. In the last few sols, there has been a small amount of solar array cleaning (dust factor improvement).

As of Sol 2879 (Feb. 28, 2012), solar array energy production was 305 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.520 and a modestly improved solar array dust factor of 0.489. A recent recalibration of atmospheric opacity resulted in a re-baseline of dust factor numbers.

Total odometry is unchanged at 21.35 miles (34,361.37 meters).

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