Status Report

NASA Mars Opportunity Rover: Brushing out the RAT Cuttings

By SpaceRef Editor
January 9, 2010
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NASA Mars Opportunity Rover: Brushing out the RAT Cuttings

Opportunity Status for sol 2111-2117

Opportunity has been investigating the rock known as “Marquette Island.” The rock abrasion tool (RAT) was used to grind a 1.5-millimeter-deep (0.06-inch-deep) hole in this very hard rock at the target called “Peck Bay 2.” The alpha particle X-ray spectrometer (APXS) measurements of Peck Bay 2 were significantly different than the pre-grind measurements. Based on these results, Opportunity is spending another week at Marquette Island for more observations of Peck Bay 2.

Opportunity completed a RAT brush of the hole, clearing out the cuttings left by the grind. Microscopic imager (MI) mosaics confirmed the success this activity. Opportunity is continuing to complete APXS measurements of Peck Bay 2 at different positions.

The elevation mirror shroud of the miniature thermal emission spectrometer (Mini-TES) is being opened when appropriate with the expectation of eventual dust cleaning. No dust cleaning of the Mini-TES mirror has been noted yet.

As of Sol 2117 (Jan. 6, 2010), Opportunity’s solar-array energy production is 320 watt-hours, with an atmospheric opacity (tau) of 0.438 and a dust factor of 0.519. Total odometry is 18,927.56 meters (11.76 miles).

SpaceRef staff editor.