Status Report

NASA Mars Rover Status 25 May 2004

By SpaceRef Editor
May 27, 2004
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OPPORTUNITY UPDATE: Opportunity on the Edge – sol 115-116, May 25, 2004

On Sol 115 Opportunity drove 11.7 meters (38.4 feet), coming
to rest about 3 meters (10 feet) from the edge of "Endurance
Crater," as intended. Rover planners had commanded Opportunity
to go 10 centimeters (3.9 inches) farther, but the rover
decided to stop when it "saw" the edge of the crater in the
navigation camera images. This was actually a more
conservative response than necessary, as it would have been
safe to complete the drive. Rover planners are looking into
changing the way they send commands to prevent this
over-conservatism next time.

Opportunity used its navigation camera to acquire images
showing its proximity to the crater. On Sol 116 Opportunity
turned slightly to the right and crept a little closer to the
edge of Endurance Crater to get into just the right position
to set up camp for a few sols. The rover executed this 1.5
meter (4.9 feet) traverse as planned, ending up facing
northwest with a total tilt of about 8 degrees pitched
"nose-up". From this position, Opportunity will make many
observations with the panoramic camera and mini thermal
emission spectrometer to fully characterize the parts of
the crater that can be seen from here. Opportunity now sits
only about 1 meter from the edge of the crater, and there
is a sloping drop-off of about 40 degrees dead ahead.

SpaceRef staff editor.