Status Report

NASA Mars Rover Opportunity Update: July 19-24, 2012 (with images)

By SpaceRef Editor
July 28, 2012
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OPPORTUNITY UPDATE: Opportunity Picks Up the Pace With Several Drives This Week – sols 3017-3022, July 19-24, 2012:

Opportunity is roving at the north end of Cape York on the rim of Endeavour Crater.

Progress was again impacted by a second safe mode entry by the Mars Odyssey orbiter. With normal Ultra-High Frequency relay with Odyssey restored, Opportunity was able to drive on Sol 3019 (July 21, 2012).

That drive, of over 138 feet (42 meters), was a “V” trajectory with the rover first driving toward the small impact crater named “Sao Gabriel” for mid-drive imaging, then a near reverse drive away toward the geologic cut called “Whim Creek.”

On Sol 3021 (July 23, 2012), Opportunity drove across Whim Creek with a 33 foot (10 meter) drive toward some surface targets. On the next Sol, the rover collected a Microscopic Imager mosaic of the target “Mons Cupri” before placing the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer down on the same. The plan ahead is some more driving before the operational stand-down around the time of the landing for Curiosity.

As of Sol 3022 (July 24, 2012), the solar array energy production was 507 watt-hours with an elevated atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.772 and an improved solar array dust factor of 0.727.

Total odometry is 21.52 miles (34,633.40 meters).

SpaceRef staff editor.