Status Report

NASA Mars Rover Opportunity Update: May 24-30, 2012

By SpaceRef Editor
June 13, 2012
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OPPORTUNITY UPDATE: On The Hunt For Light-Toned Veins Of Gypsum – sols 2962-2968, May 24-30, 2012:

Opportunity completed her in-situ (contact) investigation of a dust patch on the north end of Cape York on the rim of Endeavour Crater. The rover is now on the hunt for more light-toned veins of gypsum.

On Sol 2963 (May 25, 2012), Opportunity headed north with an approximately 82-foot (25-meter) drive, keeping a careful watch on the terrain. With the season still early spring, the rover must keep a small bias towards northerly tilts in order to generate healthy energy margins. On Sol 2965 (May 27, 2012), Opportunity headed further to the north end of Cape York, in an area referred to as “the bench,” a flat curb-like unit that forms the perimeter of Cape York. With the arrival in the bench area, Opportunity is spying several vein candidates, looking for one that is wide enough to grind with the Rock Abrasion Tool (RAT) and sample with the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS).

The plan ahead is to approach some of these vein candidates for closer inspection. The recent driving has shallowed out the northerly tilt somewhat, so energy levels have moderated a bit.

As of Sol 2968 (May 30, 2012), solar array energy production was 345 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.413 and a solar array dust factor of 0.538.

Total odometry is 21.41 miles (34,456.53 meters).

SpaceRef staff editor.