Photos: NASA Opportunity Rover Update: Past 20-Mile Mark As it Nears Large Crater

Opportunity Status for sol 2656-2662: Opportunity is only about 1.1 kilometers (0.68 miles) from "Spirit Point," the first landfall on the rim of Endeavour crater. The rover continues to make very good progress, driving five times in the last week and totaling over 510 meters of drive distance. The right-front wheel currents remain behaved. The project continues to use backwards driving and actuator heating as mitigation techniques for the elevated drive actuator currents.

On Sol 2656 (July 14, 2011), an atmospheric argon measurement was performed with the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS). On Sol 2662 (July 21, 2011), a visual odometry experiment was performed to measure the precision in which the rover can determine its relative position. This has benefit to future radio tracking experiments with the rover. The plan ahead is more driving.

As of Sol 2661 (July 19, 2011), solar array energy production was 417 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.945 and a solar array dust factor of 0.574.

Total odometry is 32,513.36 meters (32.51 kilometers, or 20.20 miles).

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