Science and Exploration

Latest Photos From Opportunity on Mars

By Keith Cowing
July 29, 2012
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Latest Photos From Opportunity on Mars
Mars as Seen By Opportunity

Opportunity is roving at the north end of Cape York on the rim of Endeavour Crater. Progress was again impacted by a second safe mode entry by the Mars Odyssey orbiter. With normal Ultra-High Frequency relay with Odyssey restored, Opportunity was able to drive on Sol 3019 (July 21, 2012).
That drive, of over 138 feet (42 meters), was a “V” trajectory with the rover first driving toward the small impact crater named “Sao Gabriel” for mid-drive imaging, then a near reverse drive away toward the geologic cut called “Whim Creek.”

On Sol 3021 (July 23, 2012), Opportunity drove across Whim Creek with a 33 foot (10 meter) drive toward some surface targets. On the next Sol, the rover collected a Microscopic Imager mosaic of the target “Mons Cupri” before placing the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer down on the same. The plan ahead is some more driving before the operational stand-down around the time of the landing for Curiosity.

As of Sol 3022 (July 24, 2012), the solar array energy production was 507 watt-hours with an elevated atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.772 and an improved solar array dust factor of 0.727.

Total odometry is 21.52 miles (34,633.40 meters).

SpaceRef co-founder, Explorers Club Fellow, ex-NASA, Away Teams, Journalist, Space & Astrobiology, Lapsed climber.