Status Report

NASA Mars Rover Status Report 10 Jun 2004

By SpaceRef Editor
June 10, 2004
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OPPORTUNITY UPDATE: Opportunity on the Edge – sol 130-133, June 10, 2004

On sol 130 Opportunity traversed a total of about 45 meters
(about 147.6 feet). About 39 meters (about 127.9 feet) of
that was counter-clockwise along the edge of "Endurance
Crater," and 6 meters (about 19.7 feet) toward the crater
rim. The sol ended with the rover about 10 meters (32.8
feet) from the crater rim. The traverse ended up about
1 meter (about 3.3 feet) short of what was commanded due
to a slightly uneven patch of ground that the rover seemed
to run across near the end of the drive. Driving over this
tripped a suspension limit that rover planners had set to
help prevent inadvertently driving into difficult terrain.
Deep sleep was again invoked for the night of sol 130 to 131.

On sol 131 the rover successfully traversed up the slope
to the crater edge, took a detailed set of images and then
backed off a little to optimize its orientation for the
rover’s communications passes. These images will aid in
the project’s assessment of traversing on the interior
slopes of Endurance Crater in this vicinity. Deep sleep
was not invoked on this night, in favor of relaying data
to Mars Odyssey in the early morning on sol 132.

On sol 132 the rover re-approached the crater rim at the
location and orientation most advantageous for the "pre-dip"
into the crater. This approach was designed to just crest
the edge of the crater and leave the rover roughly level
(with the front two wheels in the crater). The drive
executed beautifully.

On sol 133 the rover executed the first real "dip" into
Endurance Crater. The intent was to go far enough in that
all wheels would be on the slope of the crater, and then
come all the way back out, proving that the rover was
capable of getting back out before going very deep. The
other main objective was to gather information on the
degree and nature of any slip that would be experienced
while traversing the crater wall. The execution went
extremely well, with slips and disturbance of the terrain
well below acceptable levels, giving the team confidence
that the rover is capable of going deeper. The engineering
team will continue to characterize the variety of slopes
and materials that Opportunity will encounter deeper in
the crater.

SpaceRef staff editor.