Status Report

NASA Mars Exploration Rover Update 22 February 2005

By SpaceRef Editor
February 23, 2005
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OPPORTUNITY UPDATE: Opportunity Gets New Flight Software – sol 374-379, February 22, 2005

Opportunity received a software tuneup that should improve its mobility capabilities. With the new load on board, Opportunity booted into it and began an initial checkout. After a short test drive with promising results, there remains more checkout to do before blessing the load and having the rover’s sister craft, Spirit, boot up the new software. Atmospheric opacity has been stable, with tau around 0.9. Solar power is still relatively plentiful and Opportunity continues to be in excellent health.

Sol-by-sol summaries:

Sols 374 through 376 were used to load the files for the new flight software, so Opportunity did not move during this operation. There were a few hours of remote-sensing observations on sols 374 and 375. Opportunity successfully booted into the new flight software on sol 376.

Starting out slowly, Opportunity performed three hours of remote-sensing activities on sol 377.

Sol 378 was the first driving sol using the improved flight software. The drive employed various methods, such as blind driving, auto-navigation, and visual-odometry driving to exercise the rover’s new software. Opportunity traversed approximately 25 meters (82 feet) this sol.

After completing the drive on sol 378, Opportunity had a very nice rock target just outside its front right wheel. On sol 379, Opportunity performed two hours of remote sensing and then turned to 170 degrees, putting the rock target “Russet” perfectly in the rover’s work volume. Sol 379 ended on Feb. 16, with Opportunity’s total odometry at 2,559.88 meters (1.59 miles).

SpaceRef staff editor.