Science and Exploration

Mars Rover Opportunity Approaches Solander Point

By Keith Cowing
November 8, 2013
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Mars Rover Opportunity Approaches Solander Point
Opportunity Approaches Solander Point

Maneuvering Around A Sandy Dune Field – sols 3473-3478, Oct. 31, 2013-Nov. 05, 2013: Opportunity is ascending ‘Solander Point’ at the rim of ‘Endeavour Crater.’ The rover is maintaining favorable northerly tilts for improved energy production as winter approaches.
Opportunity encountered an undisturbed collection of putative Martian dust, collecting in a small ripple field. On Sol 3473 (Oct. 31, 2013), the rover made a 26 feet (8-meter) approach to the dust target, now called ‘Yellow-Bellied Glider.’ On Sol 3475 (Nov. 2, 2013), Opportunity used the robotic arm and collected a Microscopic Imager (MI) mosaic of the dust target and then placed the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) on the same for a multi-sol integration. On Sol 3478 (Nov. 5, 2013), Opportunity continued along Solander Point towards more outcrops with a 56 feet (17-meter) dogleg maneuver to avoid driving through the dusty ripple field.

As of Sol 3478 (Nov. 5, 2013), the solar array energy production was 311 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.536 and a solar array dust factor of 0.491.

Total odometry is 23.94 miles (38.53 kilometers).

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