- Press Release
- Nov 29, 2022
NASA Opportunity Mars Rover Update: Opportunity Fights Uphill Battle
sol 1593-1599, July 17-23, 2008:
“Victoria Crater” continues to challenge Mars rover drivers as they try to find a location where Opportunity can do scientific studies of rocks near the “Cape Verde” cliff face. They have been trying to drive the rover to a location nicknamed “Nevada” after a rock shaped somewhat like the state of Nevada. Getting there, however, has been challenging.
After attempting unsuccessfully to drive the rover on steep slopes that caused the wheels to slip, they are aiming for a new location. They have identified a large flagstone to the left of Nevada that offers solid footing and a low amount of tilt. They hope to drive the rover there, re-evaluate the terrain, and re-assess whether it is possible to reach Nevada.
They are also working on a campaign to have Opportunity document different styles of weathering on local rocks. The rover, meanwhile, continues to measure argon gas in the Martian atmosphere and make other atmospheric observations.
Opportunity remains healthy, with all subsystems performing as expected as of the rover’s 1,599th Martian day, or sol (July 23, 2008), of exploration. Solar energy on the vehicle has been averaging just under 360 watt-hours (100 watt-hours is the amount of energy needed to light a 100-watt bulb for one hour).
In addition to making daily assessments of atmospheric dust based on the darkness of the sky as viewed by the panoramic camera and relaying data to NASA’s Odyssey orbiter for transmission to Earth, Opportunity completed the following activities:
Sol 1593 (July 17, 2008): Opportunity drove and took post-drive images of the surrounding terrain with the hazard-avoidance and navigation cameras. After communicating with Odyssey, the rover went into a deep sleep.
Sol 1594: Opportunity spent 4 hours and 15 minutes integrating measurements of atmospheric argon with the alpha-particle X-ray spectrometer. The rover went into a mini-deep sleep.
Sol 1595: Opportunity took full-color images, using all 13 filters of the panoramic camera, of rock exposures dubbed “Mawson,” “Murchison,” “Mackay,” and “King.” After sending data to to Odyssey, the rover went into a deep sleep.
Sol 1596: Opportunity monitored dust on the rover mast, drove, and took post-drive images with the hazard-avoidance and navigation cameras. After the day’s activities, the rover went into a deep sleep.
Sol 1597: Opportunity took full-color images, using all 13 color filters of the panoramic camera, of rock exposures nicknamed “Playfair” and “Eugene_Smith.” After relaying data to Earth, Opportunity went into a deep sleep.
Sol 1598: In the morning, Opportunity took four freeze-frame images with the navigation camera for a movie to document potential clouds. Following a short drive, Opportunity took images with the hazard-avoidance and navigation cameras. After sending data to Odyssey, the rover measured atmospheric argon with the alpha-particle X-ray spectrometer.
Sol 1599 (July 23, 2008): Opportunity took more full-color, panoramic-camera images of Mackay and Mawson. Plans for the following morning called for Opportunity to take full-color images of Murchison.
As of sol 1598 (July 22, 2008), Opportunity’s total odometry was 11,725.96 meters (7.29 miles).