Status Report

MASA Mars Opportunity Rover Examining Rock Surfaces After Reset

By SpaceRef Editor
March 13, 2013
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Sols 3234-3240, Feb. 27, 2013-Mar. 05, 2013: Opportunity is exploring different locations around the inboard edge of ‘Cape York’ on the rim of Endeavour Crater.

On Sol 3235 (Feb. 28, 2013), the rover experienced a warm reset triggered by the flight software when the rover attempted to write into the Flash file system. This behavior is similar to what was seen with Spirit as the Flash file system control block becomes corrupted with extended use. As a result of the reset, the rover stops all active sequences and operates in a state called Automode. Automode is a stable and safe state for the rover with daily wake ups and communication sessions with both X-band and Ultra-High Frequency (UHF) relay, but no active science sequences.

On Sol 3236 (March 1, 2013), as a result of the reset, an X-band fault with the high-gain antenna occurred, but this was expected from the reset. The project team sent real-time commands to the rover on Sol 3237 (March 2, 2013), to clear the faults, upload new sequences and activate those new sequences. The commanding worked as expected and Opportunity is operating nominally under master sequence control. The project is continuing its vigilance of the Flash memory situation. If the Flash situation deteriorates further, reformatting the Flash file system, as what was done with Spirit, is an option for full recovery.

Opportunity returned to science activity with some robotic arm work on Sol 3239 (March 4, 2013). The rover first placed the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer on the surface target ‘Lihir’ for a short integration, then collected a Microscopic Imager mosaic of the same target, followed again by another placement of the APXS for a longer integration. With that science done, Opportunity drove over 108 feet (33 meters) due south on Sol 3240 (March 5, 2013), returning to a location called ‘Kirkwood.’ The plan ahead is to conduct some in-situ (contact) science on the ‘newberries’ seen before in this location. As of Sol 3240 (March 5, 2013), the solar array energy production was 498 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.798 and a solar array dust factor of 0.580.

Total odometry is 22.13 miles (35615.79 meters).

SpaceRef staff editor.