NASA Mars Rover Opportunity Update - December 5-11, 2012

Checking Out Rocks - sols 3152-3158, Dec. 5, 2012-Dec. 11, 2012: Opportunity is located at a place named "Matijevic Hill" (named in honor of Jake Matijevic) at the inboard edge of Cape York on the rim of Endeavour Crater.

On Sol 3153 (Dec. 6, 2012), the rover moved 7 feet (2.2 meters) to the west approaching an outcrop, called "Copper Cliff." This outcrop shows a distinct contact between two geologic units. On Sol 3155 (Dec. 8, 2012), Opportunity bumped 3 feet (1 meter) closer to a candidate surface target on Copper Cliff.

With surface targets now within reach of the robotic arm, the rover collected a Microscopic Imager (MI) mosaic of the surface target called "Onaping." This was then followed by an Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) overnight integration. The plan ahead is to perform more in-situ (contact) science on surface targets within reach of the rover's robotic arm before moving to other locations.

As of Sol 3158 (Dec. 11, 2012), the solar array energy production was 524 watt-hours with an increased atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.923 and a solar array dust factor of 0.590.

Total odometry is 22.02 miles (35,432.84 meters).

Please follow SpaceRef on Twitter and Like us on Facebook.