Status Report

NASA Mars Rover Opportunity Staying Busy While Mars is Behind the Sun: Status for sol 2490-2496

By SpaceRef Editor
February 14, 2011
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Opportunity has entered the solar conjunction period. Solar conjunction is the period when communications between Earth and Mars are disrupted because the Sun is directly in between the two planets. The last communication with the rover was on Sol 2496 (Jan. 31, 2011). The next communication is not expected until around Feb. 7, 2011.

Opportunity has a complete set of sequences on board to carry her through the conjunction period. Daily, multi-hour spectra will be collected by the moessbauer (MB) spectrometer which is positioned on the surface target Luis de Torres. A single alpha particle X-ray spectrometer (APXS) atmospheric argon measurement will be performed on Sol 2504 (Feb. 8, 2011).

Just before the conjunction blackout, Opportunity collected a set of 13-filter panoramic camera (Pancam) images of surrounding targets. As of Sol 2496 (Jan. 31, 2011), solar array energy production was 524 watt-hours with an elevated atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 1.07 and a solar array dust factor of 0.625. Total odometry is 26,658.64 meters (26.66 kilometers, or 16.56 miles).

SpaceRef staff editor.