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STATUS REPORT
01.17.2014

Encountering a Surprise

OPPORTUNITY UPDATE:
sols 3541-3547, Jan. 8, 2014-Jan. 15, 2014

Artist's Concept of Rover on Mars
Artist's Concept of Rover on Mars

Opportunity is up on "Solander Point" at the rim of Endeavour Crater.

The rover is maintaining favorable northerly tilts for improved energy production. Opportunity is positioned on the edge of an exposed outcrop where orbital observations suggest the possible presence of small amounts of clay minerals.

The rover has been finishing up analysis of the "Cape Darby" area before moving on toward what the team believes will be her winter location. While preparing to start robotic arm work on the target "Cape Elizabeth" on Sol 3541 (Jan. 8, 2014), Opportunity encountered a slight surprise -- a rock had appeared in the images that had not been there before. This target that has been named "Pinnacle Island" and its origin has been the target of much speculation. It will likely be the target of considerable investigation over the next few days.

Opportunity landed on Mars on Jan. 24, 2004 PST (Jan. 25, 2004 UTC) on what was to be a three-month mission, but instead the rover has lived beyond its prime mission and roved the planet for nearly 10 years. Mission highlights, including a gallery of selected images from both rovers is at http://mars.nasa.gov/mer10/.

As of Sol 3547 (Jan. 15, 2014), the solar array energy production on the rover is 353 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.617 and a solar array dust factor of 0.585.

Total odometry is 24.07 miles (38.73 kilometers).


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