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M I S S I O N     M A N A G E R S   
Scott Lever, Mission manager Mike Seibert, Mission manager Al Herrera, Mission manager
Scott Lever Mike Seibert Al Herrera
P R E V I O U S    M I S S I O N    M A N A G E R S
Matt Keuneke, Mission Manager Cindy Oda, Mission Manager Rich Morris, Mission Manager Bill Nelson, Mission manager
Matt Keuneke Cindy Oda Richard Morris Bill Nelson
Byron Jones, Mission Manager Mark Adler, Mission Manager Leo Bister, Mission manager Beth Dewell, Mission Manager
Byron Jones Mark Adler Leo Bister Beth Dewell
Emily Eelkema, Mission Manager Jeff Favretto, Mission Manager Soina Ghandchi, Mission Manager Andy Mishkin, Mission Manager
Emily Eelkema Jeff Favretto Saina Ghandchi Andy Mishkin
Art Thompson, Mission Manager Rick Welch, Mission Manager Colette Lohr, Mission Manager Dan Gaines, Mission Manager
Art Thompson Rick Welch Colette Lohr Dan Gaines

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sols 4072-4079, July 08, 2015-July 15, 2015: A Week of Imaging and Driving

Opportunity is on the west rim of Endeavour Crater heading into 'Marathon Valley.'

On Sol 4072 (July 8, 2015), the rover collected some targeted 13-filter Panoramic Camera (Pancam) images and some Navigation Camera (Navcam) cloud and dust devil movies (if any were present). On Sol 4073 (July 9, 2015), Opportunity bumped only about 10 inches (25 centimeters) to position the robotic arm to reach some new targets within the so-called 'Red Zone' along the edge of the 'Spirit of St. Louis.' Also, some post-drive targeted Pancam observations were made. An atmospheric argon measurement was collected that night by the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) instrument. On Sol 4074 (July 10, 2015), more targeted 13-filter Pancam observations were made along with more Navcam cloud and dust devil movies.

On Sol 4075 (July 11, 2015), the rover began some in-situ (contact) science investigation of the new 'Red Zone' target, first by collecting a Microscopic Imager (MI) mosaic, then by placing the APXS for a multi-hour integration. On the next sol, more Navcam cloud and dust devil movies were collected.

On Sol 4077 (July 13, 2015), Opportunity headed around the 'Spirit of St. Louis' to the east with a 90-foot (27.5-meter) drive. Post-drive Navcam panoramas were collected from that new vantage point. On Sol 4078 (July 14, 2015), the rover departed the 'Spirit of St. Louis' and headed northeast towards 'Swan Hill' with a 120-foot (36.7-meter) drive, collecting post-drive Navcam panoramas. On the next sol, Opportunity first collected some pre-drive targeted Navcam and Pancam images, then drove almost 62 feet (19 meters) heading into Marathon Valley. Following the drive, a 360-degree Navcam panorama was collected.

As of Sol 4079 (July 15, 2015), the solar array energy production was 421 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.634 and a solar array dust factor of 0.612.

Total odometry is 26.38 miles (42.45 kilometers), more than a marathon.




sols 4059-4064, June 25, 2015-June 30, 2015: Opportunity Gets Back to Work

Opportunity is on the west rim of Endeavour Crater at the 'Spirit of St. Louis' crater near the entrance of 'Marathon Valley.'

The Earth-Mars Solar Conjunction command moratorium and communication blackout is over and the rover has resumed normal operations and science planning.

On Sol 4059 (June 25, 2015), the rover conducted targeted remote sensing including capturing a spectacular Phobos transit of the Sun. The next sol had the rover collecting change-detecting imagery to compare to imagery collected before solar conjunction. On Sol 4061 (June 27, 2015), Opportunity bumped just over a meter to reach some new surface targets just the other side of the 'Red Zone' unit that had been previously investigated. Post-dump targeted Panoramic Camera (Pancam) images and a 360-degree Navigation Camera (Navcam) panorama were collected. With the new position, the rover on Sol 4064 (June 30, 2015), used the Rock Abrasion Tool (RAT) to brush the surface target, named 'Ryan NYP.' This was followed with a Microscopic Imager (MI) mosaic and a placement of the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) for an evening integration.

The rover continues to operate in RAM-only mode while the on-board Flash storage system is being investigated. The rover is otherwise in good health.

As of Sol 4064 (June 30, 2015), the solar array energy production was 465 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.725 and a solar array dust factor of 0.628.

Total odometry is 26.33 miles (42.37 kilometers), more than a marathon.




sols 4053-4058, June 19, 2015-June 24, 2015: Rover In Good Health After Communication Blackout

Opportunity is on the west rim of Endeavour Crater at the 'Spirit of St. Louis' crater near the entrance of 'Marathon Valley.'

The Earth-Mars Solar Conjunction command moratorium and communication blackout has just ended. Telemetry is again being received from the Opportunity and the rover is in good health. Normal tactical planning has resumed with the Sol 4059 (June 25, 2015) plan.

As of Sol 4055 (June 21, 2015), the solar array energy production was 477 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.797 and a solar array dust factor of 0.644.

Total odometry is 26.33 miles (42.37 kilometers), more than a marathon.




sols 4043-4052, June 08, 2015-June 17, 2015: Rover Remains in Solar Conjunction Communication Blackout

Opportunity is on the west rim of Endeavour Crater at the 'Spirit of St. Louis' crater near the entrance of 'Marathon Valley.' We are inside the Earth-Mars Solar Conjunction command moratorium and communication blackout.

Solar conjunction is when the Sun comes between Earth and Mars, which occurs about once every 26 months. During this time there will be diminished communications to Opportunity. More on solar conjunction here:
http://mars.nasa.gov/news/whatsnew/index.cfm?FuseAction=ShowNews&NewsID=1824

Opportunity will be executing a basic set of activities from on-board sequences for the remainder of the solar conjunction period, including some Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) integration on a selected surface target.

As of the last returned telemetry on Sol 4042 (June 7, 2015), the solar array energy production was 490 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.768 and a solar array dust factor of 0.643.

Total odometry is 26.33 (42.37 kilometers), more than a marathon.




sols 4039-4042, June 04, 2015-June 07, 2015: For Next Three Weeks, Rover in Quiet Period of Operations

Opportunity is on the west rim of Endeavour Crater at the 'Spirit of St. Louis' crater near the entrance of 'Marathon Valley.' The rover is now in the Solar Conjunction command moratorium.

Solar conjunction is when the Sun comes between Earth and Mars, which occurs about once every 26 months. During this time there will be diminished communications to Opportunity. More on solar conjunction here:
http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/news/whatsnew/index.cfm?FuseAction=ShowNews&NewsID=1824

Opportunity will be executing a basic set of activities for the remainder of the solar conjunction period, including some Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) measurements of a surface target.

As of the last returned telemetry on Sol 4042 (June 7, 2015), the solar array energy production was 490 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.768 and a solar array dust factor of 0.643.

Total odometry is 26.33 miles (42.37 kilometers), more than a marathon.




sols 4030-4038, May 26, 2015-June 03, 2015: Rover Ready for Solar Conjunction and Period of Curtailed Operations

Opportunity is on the west rim of Endeavour Crater at the 'Spirit of St. Louis' crater near the entrance of 'Marathon Valley.' The rover is now configured for Solar Conjunction with all sequences onboard for the next three weeks.

Solar conjunction is when the Sun comes between Earth and Mars, which occurs about once every 26 months. During this time there will be diminished communications to Opportunity. More on solar conjunction here:
http://mars.nasa.gov/news/whatsnew/?FuseAction=ShowNews&NewsID=1824

The last drive was on Sol 4031 (May 27, 2015). The rover moved 19 meters to approach a surface target that will be the subject of investigation during solar conjunction. On Sol 4034 (May 30, 2015), the robotic arm was used to collect a Microscopic Imager (MI) mosaic of the surface target. Then, the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) was placed for a multiple hour integration. The next robotic arm activity will actually occur during Solar Conjunction on Sol 4047 (June 12, 2015). On that sol, Opportunity will perform a small, less than an inch (1 cm) offset of the APXS placement and perform another long integration. As of the entry into the Solar Conjunction communication moratorium, Opportunity was in good health operating in persistent RAM-mode to avoid the use of Flash memory.

As of Sol 4037 (June 2, 2015), the solar array energy production was 500 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.952 and a solar array dust factor of 0.688.

Total odometry is 26.33 miles (42.37 kilometers), more than a marathon.




sols 4024-4029, May 20, 2015-May 25, 2015: Preparing for Solar Conjunction

Opportunity is on the west rim of Endeavour Crater at the 'Spirit of St. Louis' crater near the entrance of 'Marathon Valley.' The rover had been exploring the outcrops inside the Spirit of St. Louis crater and preparing for solar conjunction.

Solar conjunction is when the Sun comes between Earth and Mars, which occurs about once every 26 months. During this time there will be diminished communications to Opportunity. More on solar conjunction here:
http://mars.nasa.gov/allaboutmars/nightsky/solar-conjunction/.

The intent on Sol 4025 (May 21, 2015) was to drive out of the Spirit of St. Louis crater, but a vehicle reset and associated amnesia event occurred on the evening of Sol 4024 (May 20, 2015), stopping all onboard sequences. The rover was restored to master sequence control on Sol 4026 (May 22, 2015). In light of the recent unexplained vehicle resets, the project made the decision to configure the rover in RAM-only mode, avoiding the use of non-volatile Flash memory for storage. That configuration change was made on Sol 4027 (May 23, 2015).

On Sol 4029 (May 25, 2015), Opportunity successfully completed a 157-foot (48 meter) drive, putting the rover outside of the Spirit of St. Louis crater. Another drive is planned before stopping for solar conjunction. Other than the Flash memory related issues, the rover is in good health.

As of Sol 4028 (May 24, 2015), the solar array energy production was 558 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.962 and a solar array dust factor of 0.728.

Total odometry is 26.31 miles (42.35 kilometers), more than a marathon.




sols 4018-4023, May 14, 2015-May 19, 2015: Rover Restored to Normal Operations After a Reset Error

Opportunity is on the west rim of Endeavour Crater at the 'Spirit of St. Louis' crater near the entrance of 'Marathon Valley.' The rover had been exploring the outcrops inside the Spirit of St. Louis crater.

On Sol 4018 (May 14, 2015), the project attempted to restore the rover to master sequence control after an unexplained reset on Sol 4017 (May 13, 2015). However, an operational error prevented the use of the high-gain antenna (HGA), and the rover did not receive subsequent recovery commands.

The rover was successfully restored to normal operations on Sol 4020 (May 16, 2015). On that sol, Opportunity executed a very small turn-in-place of only 4.6 degrees to position a surface target within reach of the robotic arm instruments. That evening, an overnight atmospheric argon measurement using the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) was made. Another amnesia event occurred on the evening of Sol 4021 (May 17, 2015), but it was benign with no loss of data. On Sol 4023 (May 19, 2015), the Rock Abrasion Tool (RAT) was used to brush a surface target for in-situ (contact) investigation. After the brushing, a Microscopic Imager (MI) mosaic was collected, followed by the placement of the APXS for a multi-hour integration.

As of Sol 4023 (May 19, 2015), the solar array energy production was 536 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 1.105 and a solar array dust factor of 0.727.

Total odometry is 26.28 miles (42.30 kilometers), more than a marathon.




sols 4011-4017, May 06, 2015-May 13, 2015: Exploring the 'Spirit of St. Louis' Crater

Opportunity is on the west rim of Endeavour Crater at the 'Spirit of St. Louis' crater near the entrance of 'Marathon Valley.' The rover had been exploring the outcrops inside the Spirit of St. Louis crater.

On Sol 4011 (May 6, 2015), Opportunity drove 25 feet (7.6 meters) to approach the target, named 'Harold M. Bixby.' The drive was preceded with targeted color Panoramic Camera (Pancam) imagery and followed by post-drive Navigation Camera (Navcam) panoramas. On Sol 4013 (May 8, 2015), the rover began the in-situ (contact) investigation of the same target with a Microscopic Imager (MI) mosaic and then the placement of the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) for a multi-hour integration. Additional Navcam panoramas were collected on Sol 4014 (May 9, 2015).

On Sol 4016 (May 12, 2015), Opportunity drove again toward some hummocky terrain, driving about 30 feet (9 meters) to the south. This drive too was preceded with targeted color Pancam imagery and followed with post-drive Navcam panoramas.

On the morning of Sol 4017 (May 13, 2015), the rover experienced a vehicle reset during the high-gain antenna (HGA) pass. A bad address was reported with a range outside of any address space used by the rover's avionics. The cause of the reset is not known at this time. The project is in the process of restoring the rover back to master sequence control.

As of Sol 4016 (May 12, 2015), the solar array energy production was 526 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 1.146 and a solar array dust factor of 0.734.

Total odometry is 26.28 miles (42.30 kilometers), more than a marathon.




sols 4004-4010, April 29, 2015-May 05, 2015: Opportunity Getting Ready to Enter 'Spirit of St. Louis' Crater

Opportunity is on the west rim of Endeavour Crater at the 'Spirit of St. Louis' crater near the entrance of 'Marathon Valley.' The rover had been exploring the outcrops just outside the Spirit of St. Louis crater, so now its time to enter the crater.

On Sol 4004 (April 29, 2015), Opportunity performed a toe-dip maneuver to test the physical nature of the crater interior, then backed out and drove along the rim towards another entry point. On the next sol, here, the rover entered the crater with a 30 feet (9-meter) drive toward the interior crater mound, called 'Lindbergh.' On Sol 4006 (May 1, 2015), Opportunity performed a dog-leg approach to Lindbergh mound to reach some surface targets. The next sol, the rover collected an atmospheric argon measurement with the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) and performed a late-night Panoramic Camera (Pancam) observation of a Phobos eclipse. Now in position at the mound, Opportunity performed some in-situ (contact) science at a target, called 'Roosevelt Field.' Using the robotic arm, a Microscopic Imager (MI) mosaic of the target was collected with the placement of the APXS on the same for a multi-hour integration.

With each drive the rover made, both pre-drive targeted Pancam images and post-drive Navigation Camera (Navcam) panoramas were collected. The rover did experience one benign amnesia event on the evening of Sol 4004 (April 29, 2015), but otherwise the rover is in great health.

As of Sol 4010 (May 5, 2015), the solar array energy production was 508 watt-hours with an increased atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 1.333 and a solar array dust factor of 0.729.

Total odometry is 26.27 miles (42.28 kilometers), more than a marathon.




sols 3999-4003, April 24, 2015-April 28, 2015: 4,000+ Martian Days of Work on Mars!

Opportunity is on the west rim of Endeavour Crater next to the "Spirit of St. Louis" crater near the entrance of "Marathon Valley." The rover has been exploring the outcrops in this area.

On her 4,000th day on Mars, Opportunity drove about 16 feet (5 meters) to approach a new outcrop for investigation, called "Lambert Field." A post-drive 360-degree Navigation Camera (Navcam) panorama was collected and the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) was used to collect an atmospheric argon measurement. On Sol 4003 (April 28, 2015), the rover used the robotic arm to collect a Microscopic Imager (MI) mosaic of the new in-situ (contact) target and then placed the APXS on the same for a multi-hour integration. Some Panoramic Camera (Pancam) color imagery was also collected.

Another amnesia event occurred on the evening wake up on Sol 4002 (April 27, 2015). This event, like the others, was benign. Regional dust storms have been kicking up dust into the atmosphere. The atmospheric opacity over the rover's site has increased along with some modest cleaning of the rover's solar arrays.

As of Sol 4003 (April 28, 2015), the solar array energy production was 526 watt-hours with an increased atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 1.395 and a solar array dust factor of 0.830.

Total odometry is 26.25 miles (42.25 kilometers), more than a marathon.



sols 3990-3998, April 15, 2015-April 23, 2015: Rover on the Lookout for Dust Devils!

Opportunity is on the west rim of Endeavour Crater next to the "Spirit of St. Louis" crater near the entrance of "Marathon Valley."

The rover had been conducting an in-situ (contact) science campaign at the outcrop named "Thermopylae."

On Sol 3991 (April 16, 2015), the robotic arm was used to collect a Microscopic Imager (MI) mosaic and then place the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) for a multi-hour integration. A small Navigation Camera (Navcam) mosaic was also collected on that sol. On the next sol, a new Navcam Dust Devil Watch was sequenced. On Sol 3993 (April 18, 2015), further MI mosaics were collected followed by another APXS placement. For the next sol, the APXS was offset to an adjacent target for another integration.

However, during the preparation for the afternoon UHF relay pass the rover experienced a reset, stopping all sequences. The cause of the reset is unknown and still under investigation. Further, an amnesia event occurred later that night for the wakeup to start Deep Sleep. The rover was restored to master sequence control on Sol 3996 (April 21, 2015). On Sol 3998 (April 23, 2015), Opportunity drove a little over 26 feet (8 meters) to reach the rim of the Spirit of St. Louis crater.

As of Sol 3998, the solar array energy production was 620 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.766 and a solar array dust factor of 0.731.

Total odometry is 26.25 miles (42.24 kilometers), more than a marathon.



sols 3983-3989, April 8, 2015-April 14, 2015: Robotic Arm Gets Busy on Rock Outcrop

Opportunity is on the west rim of Endeavour Crater near the entrance of "Marathon Valley," a putative location for abundant clay minerals.

The rover is positioned on a light-toned outcrop next to the feature called "The Spirit of St. Louis" crater. The rover is continuing a campaign to investigate surface targets in this outcrop.

On Sol 3984 (April 9, 2015), Opportunity examined the surface target called "Thermopylae" using the robotic arm to collect a Microscopic Imager (MI) mosaic and later perform a placement of the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) for a multi-sol integration. On Sol 3986 (April 11, 2015), the rover repeated this set of science observations on a different target within the rover's work volume. Another MI mosaic and APXS integration were collected. On Sol 3989 (April 14, 2015), Opportunity bumped about 24 inches (60 centimeters) to position to reach some other surface targets in the same outcrop. The rover has implemented a supplementary way of collected additional battery data and has also been acquiring some atmospheric opacity measurements to support the Insight mission.

The rover experienced two more amnesia events on the evenings of Sols 3987 and 3988 (April 12 and April 13, 2015). Both were benign and resulted in no loss of science data. The rover is otherwise in excellent health.

As of Sol 3989 (April 14, 2015), the solar array energy production was 561 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.813 and a solar array dust factor of 0.714.

Total odometry is 26.24 miles (42.24 kilometers), more than a marathon.




sols 3976-3982, March 31, 2015-April 7, 2015: Examining Rock Outcrop at 'The Spirit of St. Louis' Crater

Opportunity is on the west rim of Endeavour Crater near the entrance of "Marathon Valley," a putative location for abundant clay minerals.

The rover is positioned on a light-toned outcrop next to the feature called "The Spirit of St. Louis" crater. The rover is continuing a campaign to investigate surface targets in this light-toned outcrop.

On Sol 3977 (April 1, 2015), the rover began two sols of Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) measurements with offset placements between sols. On Sol 3979 (April 3, 2015), the rover bumped to a new surface target, moving almost 20 feet (6 meters). For the next two evenings, atmospheric argon was measured using the APXS. Additional in-situ (contact) science with the robotic arm instruments was planned for Sol 3982 (April 7, 2015), but a DSN problem prevented the sequence plan from being transmitted to the rover. Opportunity instead executed on-board run-out sequences. The missed plan will be repeated in the next uplink planning opportunity. Two more amnesia events occurred in the evenings of Sols 3979 and 3980 (April 3 and April 5, 2015). Both events were benign with no loss of science data.

As of Sol 3982 (April 7, 2015), the solar array energy production was 559 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0971 and a solar array dust factor of 0.732.

Total odometry is 26.24 miles (42.24 kilometers).




sols 3970-3975, March 25, 2015-March 30, 2015: Rover Explores 'The Spirit of St. Louis' Crater

Opportunity is on the west rim of Endeavour Crater near the entrance of "Marathon Valley," a putative location for abundant clay minerals. The rover has driven around the feature called "The Spirit of St. Louis" crater and approached a light-toned rock outcrop.

On Sol 3970 (March 25, 2015), Opportunity started the in-situ (contact) examination of the rock outcrop with a Microscopic Imager (MI) mosaic followed by the placement of the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) for a multi-hour integration. On the next sol, the rover performed a small turn to reach other targets with the instruments on the robotic arm. After assessing that those new targets were not accessible, the rover bumped again on the next sol. With good targets now within reach, Opportunity used the Rock Abrasion Tool (RAT) to brush another surface target and followed that with the collection of a MI mosaic and the placement of the APXS for another multi-hour integration.

Although the Flash files system has been functioning since the reformat and masking of Bank 7 back on Sol 3964 (March 19, 2015), a single amnesia event did occur at the rover wake up on the evening of Sol 3969 (March 24, 2015). The amnesia event was benign and did not impact rover operations nor result in any loss of science data. The project continues to investigate this.

As of Sol 3975 (March 30, 2015), the solar array energy production was 562 watt-hours with an elevated atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 1.010 and a solar array dust factor of 0.744.

Total odometry is 26.24 miles (42.23 kilometers).




sols 3963-3969, March 18, 2015-March 24, 2015: Flash Reformatted and Marathon Completed

The Opportunity mission is now the first human enterprise to exceed marathon distance of travel on another world.

Opportunity is on the west rim of Endeavour Crater near 'Marathon Valley', a putative location for abundant clay minerals. The rover is approaching a feature called 'Spirit of St. Louis Crater' at the entrance to Marathon Valley.

On Sol 3964 (March 19, 2015), the flash-memory file system was reformatted using new flight software. The reformat was successful. The rover is again using flash for nonvolatile data storage. On Sol 3966 (March 21, 2015), Opportunity began approaching the Spirit of St. Louis Crater with a 177-foot (54-meter) drive, avoiding some obstacles along the way. The drive was preceded with some targeted Pancam imagery and followed by a Navcam panorama, which is typical practice when driving.

On Sol 3968 (overnight March 23 to March 24), Opportunity made history. The rover the rover drove 154 feet (46.9 meters) in a dog leg around the crater. With that drive, Opportunity exceeded the distance for a marathon (26.219 miles or 42.195 kilometers). On Sol 3959 (March 24), the rover continued to advance with a 28-foot (8.5-meter) approach to a light-toned rock outcrop.

As of Sol 3969, the solar array energy production was 610 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.678 and a solar array dust factor of 0.717.

Total odometry as of Sol 3969 (March 24, 2015) is 26.241 mile (42.230 kilometers).




sols 3957-3962, March 12, 2015-March 17, 2015: Approaching 'The Spirit of St. Louis' Crater

Opportunity is on the west rim of Endeavour Crater near 'Marathon Valley,' a putative location for abundant clay minerals. Opportunity in less than 328 feet (100 meters) away from the feature called 'The Spirit of St. Louis' at the entrance to Marathon Valley.

The rover completed the near-term science campaign this past week. On Sol 3957 (March 12, 2015), Opportunity bumped only a few centimeters to position a surface target within reach of the robotic arm instruments. Sol 3959 (March 14, 2015), began two days of in situ (contact) investigation of the rock target named 'Sgt. Nathaniel Pryor.' On each sol, the robotic arm used the Microscopic Imager (MI) to collect an image mosaic, then placed the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) to collect a multi-hour measurement of the elemental composition of the target. With the in-situ work complete, Opportunity drove 98 feet (30 meters) west to line up for the approach to the Spirit of St. Louis crater. The project is preparing to mask off the troubled Bank 7 sector of the Flash file system with a new version of the flight software on Sol 3964 (March 19, 2015).

As of Sol 3962 (March 17, 2015), the solar array energy production was 607 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.759 and a solar array dust factor of 0.740.

Total odometry is 26.17 miles (42.12 kilometers).




sols 3949-3956, March 4, 2015-March 11, 2015: Sampling Mars Rocks

Opportunity is on the west rim of Endeavour Crater near "Marathon Valley," a putative location for abundant clay minerals now only about 394 feet (120 meters) away.

The project is preparing to mask off the troubled Bank 7 sector of the Flash file system with a new version of the flight software (FSW) after the project completes the near-term science campaign.

The rover has sampled an unusual rock composition in the rim region near Marathon Valley. The near-term plan is to sample more rocks exhibiting the purple and bluish coloring that is apparent at this site.

On Sol 3950 (March 5, 2015), we began robotic arm work with a Rock Abrasion Tool (RAT) brush and Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) measurement of “blue rock” target “Sgt. Charles Floyd.” Due to Ultra High Frequency antenna data volume constraints we postponed doing a full Microscopic Imager (MI) mosaic on the target until Sol 3952 (March 7, 2015). Depending on the results of the APXS measurement, the team was considering a follow-up grind on Sol 3955 (March 10, 2015). However as the subsequent analysis showed that Sgt. Charles Floyd appeared similar to another rock that we encountered out on the plains, and since it seemed to be very hard and would cause excessive wear on the RAT grind bit, we decided to move on to a “purple rock” target instead. On Sol 3955 (March 10, 2015), we bumped to target “Sgt. Nathaniel Pryor.” While the bump was successful, wheel straightening knocked the Instrument Deployment Device slightly out of alignment with the target and required us to do a small tank turn, which has been implemented in the Sol 3957 (March 12, 2015), plan.

As of Sol 3956 (March 11, 2015), the solar array energy production was 577 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.658 and a solar array dust factor of 0.725.

Total odometry is 26.15 miles (42.09 kilometers).




sols 3944-3948, February 27, 2015-March 3, 2015: Taking a Closer Look at Purple-Bluish Rock Formation

Opportunity is on the west rim of Endeavour Crater near "Marathon Valley," a putative location for abundant clay minerals now only about 394 feet (120 meters) away.

The project is preparing to mask off the troubled Bank 7 sector of the Flash file system with a new version of the flight software (FSW) after the project completes the near-term science campaign.

The rover has sampled an unusual rock composition in the rim region near Marathon Valley. The near-term plan is to sample more rocks exhibiting the purple and bluish coloring that is apparent at this site. On Sol 3945 (Feb. 28, 2015), Opportunity drove over 98 feet (30 meters) to the south to approach more of the purple and blue rock types. Supporting Navigation Camera (Navcam) and Panoramic Camera (Pancam) panoramas were also collected. On Sol 3848 (March 3, 2015), the rover bumped forward just under 13 feet (4 meters) to reach these rocks and place candidate targets within reach of the robotic arm instruments.

The plan ahead is to brush the surface targets with the Rock Abrasion Tool (RAT) and collect a Microscopic Imager (MI) mosaic and place the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) for a multi-hour integration.

As of Sol 3948 (March 3, 2015), the solar array energy production was 545 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.708 and a solar array dust factor of 0.687.

Total odometry is 26.15 miles (42.09 kilometers).




sols 3937-3943, February 19, 2015-February 26, 2015: New Flight Software to Fix Memory Issues is Onboard Rover

Opportunity is on the west rim of Endeavour Crater near "Marathon Valley," a putative location for abundant clay minerals now only about 492 feet (150 meters) away.

The project is preparing to mask off the troubled Bank 7 sector of the Flash file system with a new version of the flight software (FSW). The preparations for the FSW load and build were to begin with the 3-sol plan on Sol 3938 (Feb. 20, 2015). However, bad weather and a complex power outage in Canberra, Australia prevented the plans from being sent. The rover was allowed to safely execute its onboard runout plan for the weekend.

On Sol 3941 (Feb. 23, 2015), preparations were restarted for the FSW build. Remote sensing observations of Marathon Valley were also performed. On Sol 3942 (Feb. 24, 2015), the FSW patch was uploaded and the new FSW was successfully built and saved onboard. On the next sol, Opportunity successfully booted onto the new version of FSW and is running without error. Further remote observations of Marathon Valley with the Panoramic Camera (Pancam) and the collection of an atmospheric argon measurement with the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer were also commanded. The plan ahead is to allow a few days to confirm all aspects of the new FSW before performing the reformat of the Flash file system with the new software.

As of Sol 3943 (Feb. 26, 2015), the solar array energy production was 559 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.734 and a solar array dust factor of 0.674.

Total odometry is 26.13 miles (42.05 kilometers).




sols 3928-3936, February 10, 2015-February 18, 2015: Solar Panels Get a Small Energy Boost

Opportunity is on the west rim of Endeavour Crater heading towards "Marathon Valley," a putative location for abundant clay minerals now only about 492 feet (150 meters) away.

The project is preparing to mask off the troubled Bank 7 sector of the Flash file system with a new version of the flight software to be uploaded shortly. On Sols 3928 and 3929 (Feb. 10 and 11, 2015), Opportunity performed some targeted color Panoramic Camera (Pancam) observations. On Sol 3930 (Feb. 12, 2015), the rover drove about 66 feet (20 meters) to get a view into Marathon Valley. This was followed by a post-drive Navigation Camera (Navcam) panorama. Opportunity drove again on Sol 3932 (Feb. 14, 2015), bumping near a potential surface target. An atmospheric argon measurement with the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) was made. On the following two sols a 360-degree Navcam panorama was collected.

A small dust cleaning events occurred on Sol 3934 (Feb. 16, 2015) improving energy production by about 12 percent. On Sol 3935 (Feb. 17, 2015), the robotic arm was used to collect a Microscopic Imager (MI) mosaic of the surface target "Jean Baptiste Charboneau" followed by an APXS placement on the same for a multi-hour integration. Opportunity drove again on Sol 3936 (Feb. 18, 2015), with a 9.8-meter drive to get a better view into the interior of Marathon Valley.

As of Sol 3936 (Feb. 18, 2015), the solar array energy production was 559 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.816 and an improved solar array dust factor of 0.695.

Total odometry is 26.13 miles (42.05 kilometers).




sols 3922-3927, February 4, 2015-February 9, 2015: Latest Drive Puts Rover Within Marathon-Distance Record

Opportunity is on the west rim of Endeavour Crater heading towards "Marathon Valley," a putative location for abundant clay minerals now only about 656 feet (200 meters) away.

The project is operating the rover without using the Flash storage system to avoid resets associated with a corrupted portion of Flash. The project is preparing to mask off the troubled sector of Flash and resume using the remainder of the Flash file system.

On Sol 3923 (Feb. 5, 2015), Opportunity drove 72 feet (21.7 meters) south, following the drive with post-drive Panoramic Camera (Pancam) and Navigation Camera (Navcam) drive-direction panoramas. On the following sol, the rover completed the Navcam 360-degree panorama with more imagery.

On Sol 3925 (Feb. 7, 2015), Opportunity performed the first sol of a two-sol "touch 'n go" using the robotic arm (the "touch") to collect Microscopic Imager frames and then place the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer on a surface target for a multi-hour integration. On the next sol (the "go"), the rover drove over 102 feet (31 meters) and then collected more drive direction imagery. With this drive Opportunity exceeded (26 miles) 42 kilometers of driving distance on Mars.

As of Sol 3927 (Feb. 9, 2015), the solar array energy production was 479 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.824 and a solar array dust factor of 0.606.

Total odometry is 26.11 miles (42 kilometers).




sols 3915-3921, January 28, 2015-February 3, 2015: Rover Continues Driving While Team Works on Rover Memory Issues

Opportunity is on the west rim of Endeavour Crater heading towards "Marathon Valley," a putative location for abundant clay minerals now only about 656 feet (200 meters) away.

The project is operating the rover without using the Flash storage system to avoid resets associated with a corrupted portion of Flash. The project is preparing to mask off the troubled sector of Flash and resume using the remainder of the Flash file system.

Opportunity drove on Sols 3916, 3918 and 3921 (Jan. 29, Jan. 31 and Feb. 3, 2015), totaling about 282 feet (86 meters). The operations strategy has been to perform pre-drive targeted imaging, then drive on the first sol of a multi-sol plan, collecting post-drive Panoramic Camera (Pancam) and Navigation Camera (Navcam) imagery in the forward direction for data return that evening. Then, on the next sol, complete the 360-degree Navcam panorama with images in the rearward direction.

As of Sol 3921 (Feb. 3, 2015), the solar array energy production was 484 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.949 and a solar array dust factor of 0.632.

Total odometry is 26.08 miles (41.97 kilometers).




sols 3909-3914, January 22, 2015-January 27, 2015: Several Drives This Week Put Opportunity Near Marathon Distance

Opportunity is on the west rim of Endeavour Crater heading towards "Marathon Valley," a putative location for abundant clay minerals now about 984 feet (300 meters) away.

The project is operating the rover without using the Flash storage system to avoid reset problems and is using instead random access memory (RAM) for temporary storage of telemetry. The project is preparing to mask off the troubled sector of Flash and resume using the remainder of the Flash file system in normal operations.

Opportunity drove on Sols 3909, 3911 and 3914 (Jan. 22, Jan. 24 and Jan. 27, 2015), totaling almost 279 feet (85 meters). On the evening of Sol 3912 (Jan. 25, 2015), an atmospheric argon measurement was collected with the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer. Targeted color imagery is being collected as the rover makes progress towards the "Spirit of St. Louis" crater and Marathon Valley.

As of Sol 3914 (Jan. 27, 2015), the estimated solar array energy production was 534 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.891 and an inferred solar array dust factor of 0.636.

Total odometry is 26.02 miles (41.88 kilometers).




sols 3902-3908, January 14, 2015-January 21, 2015: Team Has Plan to Fix Flash Memory Issue

Opportunity is on the west rim of Endeavour Crater heading towards "Marathon Valley," a putative location for abundant clay minerals now less than 1,312 feet (400 meters) to the south.

The Flash memory degradation causes multiple resets of the rover on each wake-up. To mitigate this, the project is operating the rover without using the non-volatile Flash storage system, and using instead the volatile random access memory (RAM) for temporary storage of telemetry. Recently, the project was able to configure the rover to use this mode at every wakeup without the need to set this mode each time with a ground command.

Meanwhile, the project is preparing to mask off the troubled sector of Flash and resume using the remainder of the Flash file system in normal operations. The plan to implement the masking was reviewed last week by an independent panel and the project was given the go ahead.

Opportunity drove on Sols 3902, 3905 and 3908 (Jan. 14, Jan. 16 and Jan. 21, 2015), totaling over 574 feet (175 meters).

As of Sol 3908 (Jan. 21, 2015), the solar array energy production was 440 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 1.037 and a solar array dust factor of 0.596 (from Sol 3906/Jan. 18, 2015).

Total odometry is 25.97 miles (41.80 kilometers).




sols 3895-3901, January 7, 2015-January 13, 2015: Team Working on Strategy to Fix Flash Memory Issue

Opportunity is on the west rim of Endeavour Crater heading towards "Marathon Valley," a putative location for abundant clay minerals now less than 1,969 feet (600 meters) to the south.

The Flash memory degradation is causing multiple resets of the rover on each wake-up. To mitigate this, the project is operating the rover without using the non-volatile Flash storage system, and using instead the volatile random access memory (RAM) for temporary storage of telemetry. This requires real-time commanding the rover on the first day (sol) of each plan.

Meanwhile, the project has developed the strategy to mask off the troubled sector of Flash and resume using the remainder of the Flash file system in normal operations. The project plans to implement the masking after an independent review is held later this week.

Using RAM storage, Opportunity drove on Sol 3895 (Jan. 7, 2015), to do a small turn in place. Since arriving on the summit of "Cape Tribulation" on Sol 3894 (Jan. 6, 2015), Opportunity has been collecting a full color, 360-degree Panoramic Camera (Pancam) panorama.

As of Sol 3901 (Jan. 13, 2015), the solar array energy production was 395 watt-hours, an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 1.056 and a solar array dust factor of 0.606.

Total odometry is 25.86 miles (41.62 kilometers).




sols 3875-3894, December 18, 2014 - January 6, 2015: Rover Reaches the Summit of 'Cape Tribulation' After Several Drives this Week

Opportunity is on the west rim of Endeavour Crater heading towards "Marathon Valley," a putative location for abundant clay minerals now only about 1,969 feet (600 meters) to the south.

The Flash memory continues to degrade causing multiple resets of the rover on each wake-up. To mitigate this, the project is operating the rover without using the non-volatile Flash storage system, and instead relies on the volatile random access memory (RAM) for temporary storage of telemetry. This requires real-time commanding the rover on the first sol of each plan. Meanwhile, the project is developing a strategy to mask off the troubled sector of Flash and resume using the remainder of the Flash file system in normal operations.

Using RAM storage, Opportunity drove on Sols 3875, 3881, 3893 and 3894 (Dec. 18, 24, 2014 and Jan. 5 and Jan. 6, 2015), totaling over 656 feet (200 meters). With the drive on Sol 3894 (Jan. 6, 2015), Opportunity is now on the summit of "Cape Tribulation," the highest point so far on the western rim of Endeavour Crater. This point is 443 feet (135 meters) above the plain of "Botany Bay" before the rover started climbing the rim.

As of Sol 3894 (Jan. 6, 2015), the solar array energy production was 438 watt-hours, an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 1.041 and a solar array dust factor of 0.631.

Total odometry is 25.86 miles (41.62 kilometers).


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