Status Report

Mars Rover Opportunity Status for sol 2581-2587: Opportunity Images Small Craters (with Photos)

By SpaceRef Editor
May 7, 2011
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Opportunity continues the trek towards Endeavour crater with a brief sojourn through a small field of young impact craters. In honor of the 50th anniversary of the first American into space, Alan Shepard, the Mars Exploration Rover project informally named the craters in this impact field after the spacecraft of the NASA Mercury Program.

On Sol 2581 (April 28, 2011), Opportunity began the approach to the crater field with a 110-meter (360-foot) drive to the southeast. On Sol 2583 (April 31, 2011), the rover cautiously navigated near the craters with a drive of just over 120 meters (394 feet). On Sol 2585 (May 2, 2011), Opportunity drove 28 meters (92 feet) due south heading between the two largest craters, named “Friendship 7” and “Freedom 7.” On the next sol, the rover made a 7-meter (23-foot) approach toward the crater Freedom 7 to carefully image the interior. On the next sol, Opportunity performed a cleaver “dog leg” maneuver first due south, then due east to safely navigate around and out of the crater field, while catching opportunities for some close-up imaging of the craters.

The rover’s right front wheel continues to show only modestly elevated motor currents. However, the project continues to track this. The plan ahead is more driving as Opportunity leaves these carters behind and heads towards Endeavour, some 4.5 kilometers (2.8 miles) away.

As of Sol 2587 (May 4, 2011), solar array energy production was 367 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.819 and a solar array dust factor of 0.510.

Total odometry is 28,708.06 meters (28.71 kilometers, or 17.84 miles).

SpaceRef staff editor.