Status Report

NASA Mars Rover Opportunity Status 25 August 2006

By SpaceRef Editor
August 25, 2006
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NASA Mars Rover Opportunity  Status 25 August 2006
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OPPORTUNITY UPDATE: Closer and Closer to ‘Victoria’ – sol 913-919, August 25, 2006:

Opportunity is healthy and located only 218 meters (715 feet) from the rim of “Victoria Crater.” Opportunity’s odometer clicked past the 9-kilometer (5.5-mile) mark as it drove 237.81 meters (780 feet) during the week. The terrain within the annulus, or ring, of material surrounding Victoria is homogeneous and flat, which is favorable for long drives. The team planned a trenching activity for sol 919 (Aug. 25, 2006) to prepare for a robotic arm campaign during the weekend.

Sol-by-sol summaries:

Sol 913 (Aug. 18, 2006): Opportunity used its panoramic camera to conduct a 13-filter systematic foreground observation, gathered a systematic foreground raster with the miniature thermal emission spectrometer and used the navigation camera in support of that spectrometer. The rover measured the atmosphere’s clarity (a measurement called “tau”) with the panoramic camera and used the miniature thermal emission spectrometer for observations of targets “Tenerife” (a boulder) and “Tenerife BG” (soil near the boulder).

Sol 914: Opportunity drove 71.72 meters (235 feet) then took images from its new position with the navigation camera and the panoramic camera. The rover also conducted a test to aid the design effort for NASA’s 2009 Mars Science Laboratory. Opportunity’s navigation camera took an image of the sunset. The image was designed to help in development of an algorithm for determining the rover’s position using the sun and the time of day. The miniature thermal emission spectrometer observed sky and ground during the afternoon communication-relay pass of NASA’s Mars Odyssey orbiter.

Sol 915: The rover conducted monitoring of dust on the panoramic mast assembly (the rover’s “neck” and “head”), used the panoramic camera to survey clasts (rock fragments) and used the miniature thermal emission spectrometer to observe sky and ground.

Sol 916: The rover drove backwards for 88.82 meters (291 feet).

Sol 917: Opportunity drove backwards 77.27 meters (254 feet) and took mosaics of images with the navigation camera. Before the Mars Odyssey pass, the rover took a panoramic camera tau measurement. During the orbiter’s pass, the miniature thermal emission spectrometer conducted a foreground stare. The rover also took a panoramic camera 13-filter foreground image.

Sol 918: Opportunity did untargeted remote sensing, including: a panoramic camera albedo measurement, a navigation camera rear-looking mosaic, a front hazard avoidance camera image for potential robotic-arm work, and a miniature thermal emission spectrometer seven-point sky and ground observation. The rover also took a panoramic camera tau measurement before the first of two Odyssey passes and a miniature thermal emission spectrometer sky and ground observation during the first Odyssey pass.

Sol 919: Plans call for Opportunity to take a panoramic camera image of the location selected for trenching, then to advance 2.3 meters (7.5 feet) and use a wheel to dig the trench, pausing to take images. Next in the plan are navigation camera mosaics in the forward and rear directions, then observations of sky and ground with the miniature thermal emission spectrometer during the Odyssey pass.

As of sol 918 (August 24, 2006), Opportunity’s total odometry was 9,015.19 meters (5.60 miles).

SpaceRef staff editor.