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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 3510-3519, Dec. 08, 2013-Dec. 17, 2013: On Location for Work During Holidays

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

The rover is maintaining favorable northerly tilts for improved energy production. Mars Odyssey resumed regular relay support for Opportunity on Sol 3514 (Dec. 12, 2013). Back on Sol 3512 (Dec. 10, 2013), the rover drove with a turn and a bump of about 22 feet (6.6 meters) to reach some in-situ (contact) targets that will be examined over the coming holidays. The previously elevated right-front wheel current settled down back down to more typical levels. Resting the actuator and changes in rover attitude may have contributed to the better current behavior.

On Sol 3514, Opportunity tested new motor parameters for Joints 4 and 5 on the end of the robotic arm. These new parameters will reduce the risk of joint stalls when performing challenging robotic arm motions.

On Sol 3519 (Dec. 17, 2013), the rover attempted a Microscopic Imager (MI) mosaic and Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) placement on a surface target. However, an incorrect mesh was used in the planning resulting in the arm being position too high for the science observations by about 2 inches (5 centimeters). This mis-positioning is being investigated.

As of Sol 3519 (Dec. 17, 2013), the solar array energy production was 314 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.590 and a solar array dust factor of 0.494.

Total odometry is 24.07 miles (38.73 kilometers).




sols 3508-3509, Dec. 06, 2013-Dec. 07, 2013: Communications Slow, But Expected to Return to Normal This Week

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

The rover is maintaining favorable northerly tilts for improved energy production. Mars Odyssey went into safe mode and was unable to provide relay support for Opportunity since Sol 3509 (Dec. 7, 2013). The rover was healthy as of that sol. A Direct-To-Earth (DTE) transmission from Opportunity occurred on Sol 3512 (Dec. 10, 2013), providing a small amount of rover telemetry. That telemetry indicated a healthy rover. A drive was sequenced for Opportunity on Sol 3512. The results of that drive will have to wait on the return to relay service of Odyssey.
Odyssey exited safe-mode on Dec. 10, 2013, and is expected to return to relay service later this week.

As of Sol 3509 (Dec. 7, 2013), the solar array energy production was 268 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.587 and a solar array dust factor of 0.468.

Total odometry is 24.05 miles (38.70 kilometers).




sols 3499-3507, Nov. 26, 2013-Dec. 05, 2013: Team Conducts Wheel Checkouts

Opportunity is ascending 'Solander Point' at the rim of 'Endeavour Crater.'

The rover is maintaining favorable northerly tilts for improved energy production. In place for the long Thanksgiving Holiday, Opportunity conducted some in-situ (contact) science at another exposed rock outcrop. On Sol 3502 (Nov. 29, 2013), the rover used the Microscopic Imager (MI) to collect a mosaic of the target named 'Mount Tempest.' That was followed by the placement of the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) on the same for a multi-sol integration. After the holiday pause, the rover began moving again toward the winter destination.

On Sol 3505 (Dec. 2, 2013), Opportunity drove over 115 feet (35 meters) towards another energy lily pad that provide a view of the winter destination location. On Sol 3506 (Dec. 3, 2013), the rover pushed another 98 feet (30 meters) south up the grade of Solander Point. However, on that sol higher than expected currents were seen in the right-front wheel. The right-front wheel has exhibited higher than expected currents for years, but had been well behaved recently. So this sudden jump up in current does raise some concerns. Because the rover was in an unfavorable tilt at the end of this drive and the need to get more information about the wheel, a 66 feet (20-meter) drive was sequenced on Sol 3507 (Dec. 5, 2013). This drive included several diagnostic elements. First, we increased the sampling rate on the wheel current to watch it closely. Second, we added a short 3 feet (1-meter) back and forth at the end of the drive. This would provide some insight into the directional behavior of the higher currents. We have been driving backward for years now, so have put more odometry on the rover going backward than forward. The Sol 3507 (Dec. 5 2013), drive show elevated but stable right-front wheel current for the 66-feet (20-meter) backward drive, but reduced current for the short 3-feet (1-meter) forward drive, then elevated again for the 3-feet (1-meter) backward movement. It is too early to say what this means. More investigation, analysis and diagnostics are to be done.

As of Sol 3507 (Dec. 5, 2013), the solar array energy production was 270 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.549 and a solar array dust factor of 0.467.

Total odometry is 24.05 miles (38.70 kilometers).




sols 3495-3498, Nov. 22, 2013-Nov. 25, 2013: Robotic Arm Within Reach of Rock Outcrop

Opportunity is ascending 'Solander Point' at the rim of 'Endeavour Crater.'

The rover is maintaining favorable northerly tilts for improved energy production. On Sol 3496 (Nov. 23, 2013), the rover bumped nearly 2 feet (half a meter) towards the target outcrop, called 'Moreton Island' to position reachable targets within the work volume of the robotic arm. On Sol 3498 (Nov. 25, 2013), Opportunity began the in-situ (contact) investigation of the outcrop with the collection of a Microscopic Imager (MI) mosaic and then the placement of the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) for an overnight integration. Additional APXS measurements, along with remote sensing images are planned over the Thanksgiving Holiday period.

As of Sol 3498 (Nov. 25, 2013), the solar array energy production was 310 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.603 and a solar array dust factor of 0.496.

Total odometry is 24.01 miles (38.65 kilometers).




sols 3486-3494, Nov. 13, 2013-Nov. 21, 2013: Winter Means Less Power for Solar Panels

Opportunity is ascending 'Solander Point' at the rim of 'Endeavour Crater.' The rover is maintaining favorable northerly tilts for improved energy production.

Opportunity is experiencing the power constraints of the winter season. On Sol 3489 (Nov. 16, 2013), the planned drive had to be shortened considerably owing to the constraint of the expected state of charge of the rover battery. As such, the rover only turned to face the future destination and bumped 4 inches (10 centimeters). Panoramic Camera (Pancam) and Navigation Camera (Navcam) images were taken of the near destination. On Sol 3492 (Nov. 19, 2013), the rover bumped forward about 11 feet (3.5 meters) to approach the target outcrop, called 'Moreton Island.'

As of Sol 3494 (Nov. 21, 2013), the solar array energy production was 302 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.668 and a solar array dust factor of 0.498.

Total odometry is 24.01 miles (38.65 kilometers).




sols 3473-3478, Oct. 31, 2013-Nov. 05, 2013: Maneuvering Around A Sandy Dune Field

Opportunity is ascending 'Solander Point' at the rim of 'Endeavour Crater.' The rover is maintaining favorable northerly tilts for improved energy production as winter approaches.

Opportunity encountered an undisturbed collection of putative Martian dust, collecting in a small ripple field. On Sol 3473 (Oct. 31, 2013), the rover made a 26 feet (8-meter) approach to the dust target, now called 'Yellow-Bellied Glider.' On Sol 3475 (Nov. 2, 2013), Opportunity used the robotic arm and collected a Microscopic Imager (MI) mosaic of the dust target and then placed the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) on the same for a multi-sol integration. On Sol 3478 (Nov. 5, 2013), Opportunity continued along Solander Point towards more outcrops with a 56 feet (17-meter) dogleg maneuver to avoid driving through the dusty ripple field.

As of Sol 3478 (Nov. 5, 2013), the solar array energy production was 311 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.536 and a solar array dust factor of 0.491.

Total odometry is 23.94 miles (38.53 kilometers).




sols 3467-3472, Oct. 24, 2013-Oct. 30, 2013: Seeking the Sun's Rays as Winter Approaches

Opportunity is ascending the northern edge of 'Solander Point' at the rim of 'Endeavour Crater.' The rover is maintaining favorable northerly tilts for improved energy production as winter approaches.

On Sol 3467 (Oct. 24, 2013), Opportunity bumped 4.3 feet (1.3 meters) towards the outcrop called 'Waratah.' The next sol had the rover use the robotic arm to collect a Microscopic Imager (MI) mosaic of the surface target, called 'Baobab,' and then place the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) on the same for a multi-sol integration. On Sol 3471 (Oct. 29, 2013), Opportunity continued the ascent up Solander heading toward another energy 'lily pad,' driving about 95 feet (29 meters) nearly due south, and collecting a set of post-drive Panoramic Camera (Pancam) and Navigation Camera (Navcam) panoramas. On the following sol, the rover continued driving with a nearly 33 feet (10-meter) drive toward another energy lily pad.

As of Sol 3472 (Oct. 30, 2013), the solar array energy production was 299 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.510 and a solar array dust factor of 0.488.

Total odometry is 23.93 miles (38.51 kilometers).




sols 3460-3466, Oct. 17, 2013-Oct. 23, 2013: Busy Week of Science and Driving

Opportunity is ascending the northern edge of 'Solander Point' at the rim of 'Endeavour Crater.'

The rover is maintaining favorable northerly tilts for improved energy production as winter approaches. On Sol 3460 (Oct. 17, 2013), Opportunity conducted an in-situ (contact) investigation of the outcrop named 'Kangaroo Paw' using the instruments on the end of the robotic arm. The Rock Abrasion Tool (RAT) was employed to brush the surface target prior to placement of the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS).

On the next sol, a Microscopic Imager (MI) mosaic was collected, followed by another placement of the APXS. On Sol 3466 (Oct. 23, 2013), after several sols of APXS integration and Panoramic Camera (Pancam) and Navigation Camera (Navcam) remote sensing, the rover continued ascending Solander Point driving 41 feet (12.5 meters) forward towards more rock outcrop. Opportunity also fit in after the drive an atmospheric argon measurement with the APXS.

As of Sol 3466 (Oct. 23, 2013), the solar array energy production was 320 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.596 and a solar array dust factor of 0.514.

Total odometry is 23.90 miles (38.47 kilometers).




sols 3453-3459, Oct. 10, 2013-Oct. 16, 2013: Maintaining Favorable Tilt for Sunshine

Opportunity is ascending the northern edge of 'Solander Point' at the rim of Endeavour Crater.

The rover is maintaining favorable northerly tilts for improved energy production as winter approaches. On Sol 3453 (Oct. 10, 2013), the Opportunity rover performed color Panoramic Camera (Pancam) remote sensing and collected an atmospheric argon measurement with the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS).

After completing a few sols of remote sensing, the rover headed south on Sol 3457 (Oct. 14, 2013), ascending up Solander Point with a 77 feet (23.5-meter) drive heading towards an outcrop named 'Kangaroo Paw.'

On the next sol, Opportunity bumped towards the target outcrop with an 11 feet (3.5 meter) move. On the next sol, a bump of 24 inches (60 centimeters) was performed to put the surface science targets within reach of the rover's robotic arm.

As of Sol 3459 (Oct. 16, 2013), the solar array energy production was 334 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.685 and an approximate solar array dust factor of 0.527.

Total odometry is 23.89 miles (38.45 kilometers).




sols 3445-3452, Oct. 02, 2013-Oct. 09, 2013: Heading to a High Slope for Some Sunshine

Opportunity is on the northern edge of 'Solander Point' at the rim of Endeavour Crater.

The rover is investigating the geologic contacts at the base of Solander Point. On Sol 3446 (Oct. 3, 2013), at the location of the surface target 'Callitris,' Opportunity began an extensive two-sol, stereo color panorama of the ridge along Solander Point.

Additional Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) integrations were collected on 'Callitris' on Sol 3448 (Oct. 5, 2013). On Sol 3452 (Oct. 9, 2013), with the ridge panorama complete and the work on Callitris done, the rover drove away to the southwest with a 64-feet (19.5-meter) drive heading toward a favorable energy (high-slope) 'lily pad.'

As of Sol 3452 (Oct. 9, 2013), the solar array energy production was 328 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.649 and a solar array dust factor of 0.508.

Total odometry is 23.88 miles (38.43 kilometers).




sols 3438-3444, Sept. 25, 2013-Oct. 01, 2013: Pointing the Cameras to Comet ISON

Opportunity is at the northern edge of 'Solander Point' on the rim of Endeavour Crater. The rover is investigating the geologic contact at the base of Solander Point.

On Sol 3439 (Sept. 26, 2013), Opportunity headed southwest with an approximately 102 foot (31-meter) drive. In the process the rover collected some Panoramic Camera (Pancam) color imagery of a ripple and completed a post-drive Navigation Camera (Navcam) panorama. On Sol 3441 (Sept. 28, 2013), the rover imaged the target 'Callitris' with the Pancam, and then bumped a little over 16 feet (5 meters) to put the target within reach of the rover's robotic arm.

Opportunity pointed the Panoramic Camera (Pancam) at comet ISON but the comet did not make itself bright enough to be visible to Pancam.

On Sol 3444 (Sept. 1, 2013), Opportunity used the Rock Abrasion Tool (RAT) to brush the target Callitris before collecting a Microscopic Image (MI) mosaic of the same and placing the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) for an overnight integration.

As of Sol 3444 (Sept. 1, 2013), the solar array energy production was 323 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.633 and a solar array dust factor of 0.494.

Total odometry is 23.87 miles (38.41 kilometers).




sols 3432-3437, Sept. 18, 2013-Sept. 24, 2013: Taking Snapshots Galore at 'Solander Point'

Opportunity is at the northern edge of 'Solander Point' on the rim of Endeavour Crater. The rover is investigating the geologic contact at the base of Solander Point.

Sol 3432 (Sept. 18, 2013), began with pre-drive color Panoramic Camera (Pancam) imaging of targets 'Long Nosed Potoroo,' 'Little Red Kaluta,' and some nearby rock outcrop. A short, 7 foot (2-meter) bump followed, set the rover in position for some in-situ (contact) science on a surface target. On Sol 3433 (Sept. 19, 2013), a late afternoon, low-sun Pancam sky survey was conducted.

On Sol 3433 (Sept. 19, 2013), Opportunity performed a brush with the Rock Abrasion Tool (RAT) of the surface target called 'Wally Wombat,' followed by a Microscopic Imager (MI) mosaic, and then a placement of the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) for a multi-sol integration. Sol 3436 (Sept. 23, 2013), included taking a color Pancam panorama of nearby dunes. On Sol 3437 (Sept. 24, 2013), Opportunity captured Pancam images of the apron transect, 'Agile Antechinus' and the local contact edge between ground formations. A 107 foot (32.5-meter) drive to the southwest followed. At the beginning of the drive, Opportunity looked back at target 'Wally Wombat' to acquire a 13-filter Pancam image of the brushed target. After the drive, Opportunity acquired a Navigation Camera (Navcam) 5x1 mosaic and performed an APXS atmospheric argon integration.

As of Sol 3437 (Sept. 24, 2013), the solar array energy production was 322 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.620 and a solar array dust factor of 0.505.

Total odometry is 23.84 miles (38.37 kilometers).




sols 3426-3431, Sep. 12, 2013-Sep. 17, 2013: Robotic Arm Goes to Work on Rock Target

Opportunity is at the northern edge of 'Solander Point' on the rim of Endeavour Crater. The rover is investigating the geologic contact at the base of Solander Point.

On Sol 3426 (Sept. 12, 2013), Opportunity drove 28 feet (8.62 meters) to reach a surface target. On the next sol, the rover deployed the robotic arm to investigate the surface target named, 'Poverty Bush.' First, the rover imaged the Rock Abrasion Tool (RAT) bit to assess the remaining grind life. Then, the rover collected some calibration sky flat images with the Microscopic Imager (MI). After that, a Microscopic Imager mosaic was collected of Poverty Bush, followed by the placement of the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) for a multi-sol integration.

On Sol 3430 (Sept. 16, 2013), Opportunity drove away heading about 39 feet (12 meters) to the west/northwest. On the next sol, the rover continued driving another 74 feet (22.5 meters) to reach another candidate outcrop for in-situ (contact) science investigation.

As of Sol 3431 (Sept. 17, 2013), the solar array energy production was 346 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.619 and a solar array dust factor of 0.520.

Total odometry is 23.82 miles (38.34 kilometers).




sols 3418-3425, Sept. 04, 2013-Sept. 11, 2013: Driving to New Rock Targets

Opportunity is at the base of 'Solander Point' on the rim of Endeavour Crater. The rover is investigating the geologic contact at the edge of Solander Point.

On Sol 3418 (Sept. 4, 2013), Opportunity finished an Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) measurement of the surface target, called 'Dibbler,' along with collecting some color Panoramic Camera (Pancam) images of the scarp along the edge of Solander.

On Sol 3419 (Sept. 5, 2013), the rover bumped just over 9.8 feet (3 meters) to a new surface target, called 'Monjon.' The next sol was used to collect an atmospheric argon measurement with the APXS. On Sol 3422 (Sept. 8, 2013), the rover used the robotic arm to collect a Microscopic Imager (MI) mosaic of Monjon, then, placed the APXS on the same for an overnight integration. On the next sol, Opportunity offset the APXS for another integration and documented the offset with a MI finder frame image. A seven-frame Navigation (Navcam) Camera panorama was also collected.

On Sol 3425 (Sept. 11, 2013), the rover drove further along the geologic contact towards new in-situ (contact) science targets.

As of Sol 3424 (Sept. 10, 2013), the solar array energy production was 362 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.591 and a solar array dust factor of 0.513.

Total odometry is 23.79 miles (38.29 kilometers).




sols 3411-3417, Aug. 28, 2013-Sept. 03, 2013: Investigating 'Coal Island' Rock Outcrop

Opportunity is at the base of 'Solander Point' on the rim of Endeavour Crater. The rover is investigating a scarp (rock outcrop), called 'Coal Island.'

On Sol 3412 (Aug. 29, 2013), Opportunity approached a surface target, with a 180-degree turn-in-place, followed by a 6-foot (1.7-meter) bump to place a target of interest within reach of the robotic arm instruments. The rover began a survey of the scarp with multi-spectral Panoramic Camera (Pancam) imaging. On Sol 3415 (Sept. 1, 2013), the rover used the robotic arm to collect a Microscopic Imager (MI) mosaic of the surface target, called 'Dibbler' and place the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) on the target for multi-sol integration. Opportunity continued the multi-spectral imaging survey of the scarp with more Pancam images over three sols.

As of Sol 3416 (Sept. 2, 2013), the solar array energy production was 365 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.640 and a solar array dust factor of 0.522.

Total odometry is 23.77 miles (38.26 kilometers).




sols 3405-3410, Aug. 22, 2013-Aug. 27, 2013: Examining Rocks Around Boulder Field

Opportunity is at the base of 'Solander Point' on the rim of Endeavour Crater. The rover is navigating around a large boulder field examining the geologic contacts in this area.

On Sol 3405 (Aug. 22, 2013), Opportunity backed away from the target 'Platypus' to image it with the color Panoramic Cameras, then moved about 13 feet (4 meters) navigating around the boulder field for surface targets to investigate. Navigation Camera images of the rover tracks were also collected.

On Sol 3407 (Aug. 24, 2013), Opportunity moved 35 feet (10.7) meters further within the boulder field, skirting some large rocks. On the following sol, the rover collected a measurement of atmospheric argon using the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer.

On Sol 3410 (Aug. 27, 2013), Opportunity drove about 118 feet (36 meters) approaching an exciting geologic contact.

As of Sol 3410 (Aug. 27, 2013), the solar array energy production was 373 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.646 and a solar array dust factor of 0.525.

Total odometry is 23.77 miles (38.26 kilometers).




sols 3398-3404, Aug. 15, 2013-Aug. 21, 2013: Scouting a Boulder Field

Opportunity is at the base of 'Solander Point' on the rim of Endeavour Crater. The rover is scouting a large boulder field.

On Sol 3398 (Aug. 15, 2013), Opportunity drove 75 feet (22.8 meters) into the boulder field to approach a potential surface target. On Sol 3399 (Aug. 16, 2013), an Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) measurement of atmospheric argon was performed. On Sol 3400 (Aug. 17, 2013), Opportunity bumped only 1.3 feet (0.4 meters) to place a surface target within reach of the robotic arm.

After remote sensing observations over the weekend, on Sol 3403 (Aug. 20, 2013), the rover used the Rock Abrasion Tool (RAT) to brush the surface of the target now called 'Platypus.' This was followed by a Microscopic Imager (MI) mosaic and a placement of the APXS for a multi-sol integration.

As of Sol 3404 (Aug. 21, 2013), the solar array energy production was 367 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.660 and a solar array dust factor of 0.522.

Total odometry is 23.74 miles (38.21 kilometers).




sols 3392-3397, Aug. 08, 2013-Aug. 13, 2013: Snapping Pictures of the Martian Moons

Opportunity is at the base of 'Solander Point' on the rim of Endeavour Crater. The rover is positioned in front of a large rock, called 'Tick Bush' for in-situ (contact) investigation with the instruments on the robotic arm.

On Sol 3392 (Aug. 8, 2013), a Microscopic Imager (MI) mosaic was collected of Tick Bush, followed by the placement of the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) for multi-sol integration. On Sol 3396 (Aug. 12, 2013), the robotic arm repositioned the APXS with a small offset, documented by a Microscopic Imager finder frame image. Also on that sol, the rover took advantage of a celestial alignment and imaged the transit of both moons, Phobos and Deimos. A second Phobos transit was imaged on the next sol while the APXS continued to integrate on the rock target.

As of Sol 3397 (Aug. 13, 2013), the solar array energy production was 376 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.695 and a solar array dust factor of 0.532.

Total odometry is 23.73 miles (38.18 kilometers).




sols 3385-3391, Aug. 01, 2013-Aug. 07, 2013: Opportunity Reaches Base of 'Solander Point'

Opportunity is at the base of 'Solander Point' on the rim of Endeavour Crater. The rover arrived at the edge of Solander Point with a series of drives on Sols 3385 and 3387 (Aug. 1 and Aug. 3, 2013), achieving drive distances of 385 feet (117.4 meters) and 198 feet (60.4 meters), respectively. Later, the rover will drive up onto the point and benefit from the north-facing slope there.

On Sol 3389 (Aug. 5, 2013), Opportunity approached a boulder field with a 54 feet (16.6 meter) drive. Taking advantage of a surface target of opportunity within the robotic arm work volume, the rover performed two-sol 'Touch 'n Go' on Sols 3390 and 3391 (Aug. 6 and Aug. 7, 2013). On the first sol, Opportunity used the robotic arm to collect a Microscopic Imager mosaic of the surface target called 'Red Poker' and then place the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer on the target for an overnight integration. On the second sol, the rover drove away, moving 15 feet (4.7 meters) towards another rock target.

As of Sol 3390 (Aug. 6, 2013), the solar array energy production was 385 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.770 and a solar array dust factor of 0.543.

Total odometry is 23.73 miles (38.18 kilometers).




sols 3377-3384, Jul. 24, 2013-Jul. 31, 2013: Taking Time to Study the Area Near 'Solander Point'

Opportunity has been investigating an in-situ (contact) science target, a rock called 'Black Shoulder.' The rover is still about 656 feet (200 meters) away from the base of 'Solander Point,' but near enough to be able to spend time conducting local field science.

With the rover already at Black Shoulder, the robotic arm was used to collect a Microscopic Imager (MI) mosaic of the rock's surface before the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) was placed on Sol 3378 (July 25, 2013). Opportunity continued the investigation of the rock's surface with more MI images and APXS integrations on Sols 3380 and 3381 (July 27 and 28, 2013). On the morning of the second sol, the first set of Panoramic Camera (Pancam) images of Solander Point, as part of a long baseline stereo imaging campaign, were collected. On Sol 3382 (July 29, 2013), a target on the rock was ground and brushed by the Rock Abrasion Tool (RAT), followed by a MI mosaic and an APXS measurement on the freshly ground surface.

With the work now complete at Black Shoulder, the rover drove about 33 feet (10 meters) to the east on Sol 3384 (July 31, 2013), to set up for the second set of Pancam images of Solander Point, part of the long baseline stereo imaging campaign.

As of Sol 3384 (July 31, 2013), the solar array energy production was 395 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.800 and a solar array dust factor of 0.574.

Total odometry is 23.60 miles (37.98 kilometers).




sols 3370-3376, Jul. 17, 2013-Jul. 23, 2013: Opportunity Nears 'Solander Point'

Opportunity has arrived in the region near the base of 'Solander Point.' At the current location, the rover is just a few drives from making landfall on the point.

However, the science team will now begin the exploration of the various outcrops, contacts and units that make up the Solander Point geology, prior to ascending the point for winter energy production.

On Sol 3371 (July 18, 2013), the rover advanced about 197 feet (60 meters) towards a region to the northeast of Solander Point to investigate the unusual terrain there. Sols 3373 and 3374 (July 20 and 21, 2013), were a 2-sol Touch 'n Go activity. The rover performed robotic arm in-situ (contact) science with the Microscopic Imager (MI) and the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) on the first sol, then picked up and drove over 164 feet (50 meters) on the second sol. On Sol 3376 (July 23, 2013), Opportunity bumped 12 feet (3.7 meters) towards a rock of interest, to begin a brief in-situ investigation of this rock with the Microscopic Imager and the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer. Before the drive on Sol 3376, the rover took the opportunity to image a Deimos moon transit of the Sun with the Panoramic Camera.

As of Sol 3376 (July 23, 2013), the solar array energy production was 431 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.757 and a solar array dust factor of 0.566.

Total odometry is 23.60 miles (37.97 kilometers).




sols 3364-3369, Jul. 11, 2013-Jul. 16, 2013: Stopping for Science on the Way to 'Solander Point'

Opportunity is in good health. We are now within a few hundred (656-984 feet, or 200-300 meters) of the 'Solander Point' destination. However, the team doesn't need the northerly tilt that Solander Point offers yet, so they decided to use a few of the margin sols accumulated to investigate an area of interesting terrain and gypsum signatures.

The Sol 3366 (July 13, 2013) drive began veering to the Southeast and then to the East in the Sol 3369 (July 16, 2013) drive. The team sequenced a multi-sol drive in the three-sol plan of 3366-3368 (July 13-July 15, 2013). However, though the first sol drive of 262 feet (80 meters) on (July 13, 2013) completed nominally, the second sol drive on Sol 3367 (July 14, 2013), was precluded due to exceeding a pitch-limit at the end of the first sol of driving. This was as a result of a safety check specifically designed for multi-sol drives, which worked as intended as Opportunity happened to find herself in a shallow depression at the end of Sol 3366 (July 13, 2013) drive. In total, Opportunity drove 912 feet (278 meters) in three drives for this period.

As of Sol 3369 (July 16, 2013), the solar array energy production was 450 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.705 and a solar array dust factor of 0.584.

Total odometry is 23.52 miles (37.86 kilometers).




sols 3351-3363, Jun. 27, 2013-Jul. 10, 2013: More Progress Toward 'Solander Point'

Opportunity is in good health. On Sol 3351 (June 27, 2013), the rover drove over 393 feet (over 120 meters), heading toward 'Solander Point' on the rim of Endeavour Crater. Also on that sol, a set of diagnostics were performed on the Joint 3 (elbow) potentiometer on the robotic arm. This potentiometer is a sensor that can indicate if the arm has moved. Arm movement is not intended during a drive. Preliminary analysis indicates that the readings from the potentiometer were anomalous and that the arm did not move. The project is masking those readings in the rover's flight software so that anomalous readings will not halt a drive.

In a two-sol plan, Opportunity performed a 'touch 'n go,' using the robotic arm one sol and driving the next sol, on Sols 3352 and 3353, (June 28 and June 30, 2013, using the Pacific Daylight Time date at noon of the sol; no sol's noon fell on June 29). On the first sol, the Microscopic Imager (MI) collected a mosaic of a surface target. The Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) then collected data overnight. On the second sol of the plan, the rover drove over 98 feet (over 30 meters). On Sol 3355 (July 2, 2013), Opportunity completed another long drive, over 262 feet (over 118 meters).

In preparation for the long Fourth of July holiday period, two sets of three-sol plans were developed to keep Opportunity busy while the flight team had time off. The first plan covered sols 3356 to 3358 (July 3 to July 5, 2013). A 82-foot (25-meter) drive was sequenced for the first sol, with a special automatic stop to use rover tilt and achieve maximum power generation for later activities. On the second sol, the rover made an atmospheric argon measurement with the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS). It conducted routine remote-sensing measurements on the third sol. With the drive results from Sol 3356 (July 3, 2013) received in time for planning the next three-sol plan, the flight team sequenced another drive for Sol 3360 (July 7, 2013) after a special observation of both of Mars' moons. Opportunity imaged Phobos and Deimos with the Panoramic Camera (Pancam) very early on the morning of that sol, using that extra energy from the rover's favorable tilt. After the observation finished, the rover drove 138 feet (42 meters). It spent the final sol of this three-sol plan recharging batteries with some light remote-sensing observations.

After the holiday, Opportunity continued to push closer to Solander Point with a drive on Sol 3362 (July 9, 2013) that exceeded 291 feet (88.7 meters) and a drive on Sol 3363 (July 10, 2013) of about 193 feet (59 meters).

As of Sol 3363 (July 10, 2013), the solar array energy production is 435 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.786 and a solar array dust factor of 0.606.

Total odometry is 23.35 miles (37.58 kilometers).




sols 3345-3350, Jun. 21, 2013-Jun. 24, 2013: Opportunity Exceeds 37 Kilometers of Odometry!

Opportunity is in good health, although the robotic arm elbow joint potentiometer is acting up.

On Sol 3346 (June 22, 2013), the rover continued the trek toward 'Solander Point' with a 295-foot (90-meter) drive due south. On Sol 3347 (June 23, 2013), Opportunity imaged the Rock Abrasion Tool (RAT) bit to assess remaining bit life. On the next sol, Opportunity exceeded 23 miles (37 kilometers) of odometry with a 318-feet (97-meter) drive. On Sol 3349 (June 25, 2013), a long drive was planned, but was terminated after only 207 feet (63 meters) when the potentiometer on the robotic arm elbow indicated an unexpected motion, stopping the drive. This potentiometer is a sensor that can indicate if the arm has moved, which is not intended during a drive. Investigation of the joint and the use of before and after images showed no joint motion.

A drive was planned on Sol 3350 (June 26, 2013), and stopped almost immediately due to an even larger anomalous reading of that same potentiometer. The plan ahead is to conduct a set of diagnostics on the joint potentiometer.

As of Sol 3350 (June 26, 2013), the solar array energy production was 457 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.805 and a solar array dust factor of 0.607.

Total odometry is 23.05 miles (37.09 kilometers).




sols 3340-3344, Jun. 16, 2013-Jun. 20, 2013: Opportunity is Healthy and Driving to 'Solander Point'

Opportunity is in good health. As of June 21, 2013, Opportunity has been on Mars for five Martian years.

The project successfully recovered the rover from the flash-memory write error induced reset on Sol 3336 (June 12, 2013), which left the rover without a running master sequence.

The initial recovery attempt on Sol 3337 (June 13, 2013), was not successful because the rover did not wake earlier enough to receive the recovery commands, although it was understood that this was a possibility due to variability in the morning wake-up time. Opportunity was successfully recovered over Sols 3338 and 3339 (June 14 and 15, 2013).

The second sol also included a 246-foot (75-meter) drive. That drive contained the first part of a two-sol test of multi-sol autonomous driving. The rover drove again on Sol 3342 (June 18, 2013), with a 200-foot (61-meter) drive which contained the second part of the multi-sol autonomous driving. On Sol 3344 (June 20, 2013), the science team decided to head east toward the feature called 'Nobbys Head' for a closer look with the rover driving just under 108 feet (33 meters). The plan ahead is to turn south and make a direct beeline to 'Solander Point' still over a kilometer away.

As of Sol 3344 (June 20, 2013), the solar array energy production was 497 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.801 and a solar array dust factor of 0.626.

Total odometry is 22.89 miles (36.84 kilometers).




sols 3317-3323, May. 23, 2013-May. 29, 2013: Driving to 'Solander Point'

Opportunity is continuing her push to reach 'Solander Point,' still over 1.2 miles (2 kilometers) away.

The rover drove only two of the last seven days (sols) due to the long holiday weekend. Opportunity drove on Sols 3317 and 3323 (May 23 and May 29, 2013), totaling 522 feet (159 meters), continuing in the southeasterly direction. On Sol 3318 (May 24, 2013), an overnight atmospheric argon measurement was performed with the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS). A 13-filter panoramic camera (Pancam) image was taken of the rover magnets on Sol 3320 (May 26, 2013), with some Rock Abrasion Tool (RAT) bit imaging and Microscopic Imager (MI) sky flats taken on the next sol. With sufficient power the rover was able to support an AM Ultra High Frequency relay pass on Sol 3321 (May 27, 2013). The plan ahead is more driving as the rover moves towards Solander Point.

As of Sol 3323 (May 29, 2013), the solar array energy production was 546 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.838 and a solar array dust factor of 0.664.

Total odometry is 22.55 miles (36.29 kilometers).




sols 3310-3316, May. 16, 2013-May. 22, 2013: Departing 'Cape York'

Opportunity has begun the departure from 'Cape York' and started the push to reach 'Solander Point' over 1.2 miles (2 kilometers) away.

The rover drove five out of the last seven days (sols). Opportunity drove on Sols 3310, 3312, 3314, 3315 and 3316 (May 16, 18, 20, 21 and May 22, 2013), totaling over 0.23 miles (376 meters), mostly in the southeasterly direction.

Atmospheric opacity (tau) has been decreasing after it spiked from the passing of a regional dust storm. Opportunity benefitted from a modest solar array dust cleaning event between Sol 3311 and 3315 (May 17 and 21, 2013). The plan ahead is more to drive as the rover pushes towards Solander Point.

As of Sol 3316 (May 22, 2013), the solar array energy production was 541 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.903 and a solar array dust factor of 0.649.

Total odometry is 22.45 miles (36.14 kilometers).




sols 3303-3309, May. 09, 2013-May. 15, 2013: Record-Setting Drive by Opportunity

Opportunity has set a new off-world driving record for a U.S. spacecraft having surpassed the record previously held by Apollo 17 in the Sol 3309 (May 15, 2013) drive.

Prior to that, Opportunity finished off analysis of the 'Esperance' rock target with a full overnight Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) integration of the rock abrasion tool (RAT) hole on Sol 3305 (May 11, 2013). Early analysis seems to confirm that this is a clay that had been intensely altered by relatively neutral pH water - representing the most favorable conditions for biology that Opportunity has yet seen in the rock histories it has encountered.

A local dust storm had cause us some concern as we saw the atmospheric opacity (tau) increase to the neighborhood of 1.5 for several sols, but the storm seems to have dissipated and is no longer constraining activities to any great degree.

Solar array energy on Sol 3309 (May 15, 2013), was 431 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) measurement of 1.21, and a dust factor of 0.576. All systems are nominal.

Total odometry is 22.22 miles (35.76 kilometers).




sols 3296-3302, May. 05, 2013-May. 08, 2013: Making Smallest Turn Yet, As Dust Storm Affects Rover

Opportunity is feverishly working to complete analysis of 'Esperance,' believed to be a phyllosilicate-rich target, before departing for her winter haven at 'Solander Point' to the south.

On Sol 3296 (May 2, 2013), she attempted the smallest turn in her history (~0.5 degrees) to get a better position for the rock abrasion tool (RAT). The turn was successful and use of the RAT commenced on Sol 3301(May 7, 2013).

Complicating the satisfactory completion of the rock Esperance analysis was the growth of a regional dust storm nearby, which drove the atmospheric opacity or tau to 1.53 (also on Sol 3301). The tau on Sol 3302 (May 8, 2013), slightly decreased to 1.45, but a close watch is being kept in case conditions worsen. If atmospheric opacity stabilizes or continues to decrease, we hope to complete instrument deployment device (IDD) work and begin driving away by Sol 3309 (May 15, 2013).

Solar array energy on Sol 3302 (May 8, 2013), was 385 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) measurement of 1.45, and a dust factor of 0.584. All systems are nominal.

Total odometry is 22.15 miles (35.65 kilometers).




sols 3291-3295, Apr. 27, 2013-May. 01, 2013: Rover Back in Action

Opportunity has safely emerged from solar conjunction. However, in the past week the flight team learned that the rover did experience a flash memory anomaly during conjunction on Sol 3286 (April 21, 2013), that put the rover into automode, a standby mode where no onboard sequences are running.

The flight team attempted to recover the rover from automode on Sol 3294 (April 30, 2013), but was unsuccessful due to an operational error. This error is being investigated by the project. On the subsequent sol, Opportunity was successfully restored to normal operations. The rover is in good health with nominal science planning proceeding.

As of Sol 3294 (April 30, 2013), the solar array energy production was 506 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.672 and a solar array dust factor of 0.573.

Total odometry is unchanged at 22.15 miles (35.65 kilometers).




sols 3279-3290, Apr. 14, 2013-Apr. 26, 2013: Rover Telemetry Expected Today

Opportunity is stationary for solar conjunction at 'Cape York' on the rim of Endeavour Crater.

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.

As of writing this report (April 26, 2013), the last telemetry received was before conjunction on Sol 3278 (April 13, 2013), and indicated a healthy rover at that time.

Rover telemetry is expected to resume later today.

Total odometry is unchanged at 22.15 miles (35.65 kilometers).




sols 3275-3278, Apr. 10, 2013-Apr. 13, 2013: Rover Quiet During Solar Conjunction

Opportunity is stationary for solar conjunction at "Cape York" on the rim of Endeavour Crater.

Telemetry is limited during conjunction with the last telemetry received on Sol 3278 (April 10, 2013).

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. The team will suspend sending the rover new commands between April 9 and April 26. The rover will continue science activities using a long-term set of commands to be sent beforehand. No new images are expected to be returned during this time. See solar conjunction video at: http://mars.nasa.gov/multimedia/videos/index.cfm?v=122 .

As of Sol 3278 (April 10, 2013), the vehicle is healthy with positive energy margins.

Total odometry is unchanged at 22.15 miles (35.65 kilometers).




sols 3267-3274, Apr. 12, 2013-Apr. 09, 2013: Waiting Out Solar Event

Opportunity is in position for solar conjunction at 'Cape York' on the rim of Endeavour Crater.

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. The team will suspend sending the rover new commands between April 9 and April 26. The rover will continue science activities using a long-term set of commands to be sent beforehand. No new images are expected to be returned during this time. See solar conjunction video at: http://mars.nasa.gov/multimedia/videos/index.cfm?v=122 .

On Sol 3267 (April 2, 2013), the rover performed the last robotic arm movement prior to the solar conjunction quiet period, using the Microscopic Imager (MI) to collect additional portions of a large mosaic of the target 'Esperance,' followed by the placement of the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) down on the surface target 'Esperance3,' for the remainder of solar conjunction.

As of Sol 3274 (April 9, 2013), the solar array energy production was 557 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.677 and a solar array dust factor of 0.617.

Total odometry is 22.15 miles (35.65 kilometers).




sols 3261-3266, March 27, 2013-Apr. 01, 2013: Quiet Period for Next Three Weeks

Opportunity is in position for the coming three-week solar conjunction period at 'Cape York' on the rim of Endeavour Crater.

This location is the last in-situ (contact) target before the rover departs from Cape York once solar conjunction is concluded.

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. The team will suspend sending the rover new commands between April 9 and April 26. The rover will continue science activities using a long-term set of commands to be sent beforehand. No new images are expected to be returned during this time.

On Sol 3262 (March 28, 2013), Opportunity raised the robotic arm out of the way so the mast-mounted Panoramic Camera (Pancam) could collect a 13-filter image of the surface location, called 'Esperance.' Then, the rover repositioned the arm to collect a Microscopic Imager (MI) mosaic and placed the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) on the same target. On Sol 3264 (March 30, 2013), Opportunity continued collecting more MI images, covering the complete extent of the target before placing the APXS down on the target 'Esperance2.'

As of Sol 3266 (April 1, 2013), the solar array energy production was 559 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.741 and a solar array dust factor of 0.636.

Total odometry is 22.15 miles (35.65 kilometers).




sols 3255-3260, March 21, 2013-March 26, 2013: Opportunity Moves Into Place for Quiet Period of Operations

Opportunity has moved into position for the coming three-week solar conjunction period at "Cape York" on the rim of Endeavour Crater. 

This location, called 'Big Nickel,' is the last in-situ (contact) target before the rover departs from Cape York, once solar conjunction is concluded.

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. The team will suspend sending the rover new commands between April 9 and April 26. The rover will continue science activities using a long-term set of commands to be sent beforehand. No new images are expected to be returned during this time.

On Sol 3255 (March 21, 2013), after completing the investigation of the 'Newberries' at the location called 'Kirkwood,' Opportunity drove over 82 feet (25 meters) straight north toward the location called 'Big Nickel.' On Sol 3257 (March 23, 2013), the rover completed the approach to 'Big Nickel' with a 13-foot (4-meter) drive. In order to reach a specific surface target, Opportunity performed a modest, 0.8 inch (2-centimeter) bump on Sol 3260 (March 26, 2013).

With the rover precisely positioned, the plan ahead is to sequence the robotic arm to collect a Microscopic Imager (MI) mosaic of the target, called 'Esperance' and place the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) for an overnight integration.

On Sols 3255, 3256 and 3257 (March 21, 22 and 23, 2013), Opportunity benefitted from some dust cleaning of the solar arrays, improving energy production.

As of Sol 3260 (March 26, 2013), the solar array energy production was 590 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.760 and an improved solar array dust factor of 0.654.

Total odometry is 22.15 miles (35.65 kilometers).




sols 3248-3254, March 13, 2013-March 20, 2013: Opportunity Heads to Matijevic Hill

After returning to the location called 'Kirkwood,' Opportunity completed a busy contact investigation of the mysterious 'newberry' spherules seen there. On Sol 3248 (March 13, 2013), using the robotic arm, the rover collected a Microscopic Imager (MI) finder frame image before placing the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) for an overnight integration on the 'newberry'-rich surface target, called 'Sturgeon River 2.'

On the next sol, Opportunity repositioned the robotic arm, collecting another MI finder frame before placing the APXS on the offset target 'Sturgeon River 1a.' On Sol 3250 (March 15, 2013), the rover continued the in-situ investigation with examination of nearby targets, collecting MI mosaics of targets 'Lake Laurentian' and 'South Range' before placing the APXS back on 'Sturgeon River 1a' for further integration.

On Sol 3251 (March 16, 2013), Opportunity performed the first of two geology 'streak' tests with a grind by the Rock Abrasion Tool (RAT) on target 'Sturgeon River 3.' The grind did not generate sufficient rock dust, so it was repeated again on Sol 3253 (March 19, 2013). Each grind was followed by an MI mosaic and an overnight APXS integration. A 13-filter Panoramic Camera (Pancam) image was collected on the RAT dust.

With the 'streak' test complete, Opportunity was commanded on Sol 3255 (March 21, 2013), to drive away from this location towards the final in-situ investigation at Matijevic Hill.

As of Sol 3253 (March 19, 2013), the solar array energy production was 490 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.771 and a solar array dust factor of 0.590.

Total odometry is 22.14 miles (35625.03 meters)




sols 3241-3247, March 06, 2013-March 12, 2013: Opportunity Departing South Soon

OPPORTUNITY UPDATE: Opportunity Departing South Soon -- sols 3241-3247, March 6, 2013-March 12, 2013:

Opportunity is completing the in-situ (contact) investigation of the terrain on the inboard edge of Cape York on the rim of 'Endeavour Crater' before departing to the south.

Flash memory issues appeared again on Sol 3244 (March 9, 2013), but were minor. Although, this time the symptoms were different from earlier incidents. The project continues to investigate this.

On Sol 3246 (March 11, 2013), Opportunity approached the Kirkwood outcrop with a 30 foot (9.2 meter) drive. The rover visited this site before the start of the regional 'walkabout' and has now returned for detailed investigation of the 'newberries' seen at this location.

As of Sol 3247 (March 12, 2013), the solar array energy production was 483 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.863 and a solar array dust factor of 0.598.

Total odometry is 22.14 miles (35625.03 meters).




sols 3234-3240, Feb. 27, 2013-March 05, 2013: Opportunity Examining Rock Surfaces After Reset

Opportunity is exploring different locations around the inboard edge of 'Cape York' on the rim of Endeavour Crater.

On Sol 3235 (Feb. 28, 2013), the rover experienced a warm reset triggered by the flight software when the rover attempted to write into the Flash file system. This behavior is similar to what was seen with Spirit as the Flash file system control block becomes corrupted with extended use. As a result of the reset, the rover stops all active sequences and operates in a state called Automode. Automode is a stable and safe state for the rover with daily wake ups and communication sessions with both X-band and Ultra-High Frequency (UHF) relay, but no active science sequences.

On Sol 3236 (March 1, 2013), as a result of the reset, an X-band fault with the high-gain antenna occurred, but this was expected from the reset. The project team sent real-time commands to the rover on Sol 3237 (March 2, 2013), to clear the faults, upload new sequences and activate those new sequences. The commanding worked as expected and Opportunity is operating nominally under master sequence control. The project is continuing its vigilance of the Flash memory situation. If the Flash situation deteriorates further, reformatting the Flash file system, as what was done with Spirit, is an option for full recovery.

Opportunity returned to science activity with some robotic arm work on Sol 3239 (March 4, 2013). The rover first placed the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer on the surface target 'Lihir' for a short integration, then collected a Microscopic Imager mosaic of the same target, followed again by another placement of the APXS for a longer integration. With that science done, Opportunity drove over 108 feet (33 meters) due south on Sol 3240 (March 5, 2013), returning to a location called 'Kirkwood.' The plan ahead is to conduct some in-situ (contact) science on the 'newberries' seen before in this location.
As of Sol 3240 (March 5, 2013), the solar array energy production was 498 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.798 and a solar array dust factor of 0.580.

Total odometry is 22.13 miles (35615.79 meters).




sols 3228-3233, Feb. 21, 2013-Feb. 26, 2013: Short Bump Gets Robotic Arm Closer to Rock Target

Opportunity is conducting the post-walkabout in-situ (contact) science campaign at different locations around the inboard edge of 'Cape York' on the rim of Endeavour Crater.

On Sol 3230 (Feb. 23, 2013), with approximately 16 feet (5 meters) of motion the rover attempted to scuff (drive over) the surface target, named 'Boxwork.' However, due to high slip the rover missed scuffing the intended target.

On Sol 3233 (Feb. 26, 2013), Opportunity performed a 4 foot (1.3 meter) bump to set up for some in-situ work with a target called 'Lihir' in the area that was to be scuffed. In-situ measurements are planned with the instruments on the end of the robotic arm. No 'amnesia' events with the Flash file system have occurred since Sol 3183 (Jan. 6, 2013), and the rover is otherwise in good health.

As of Sol 3233 (Feb. 26, 2013), the solar array energy production was 510 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.817 and a solar array dust factor of 0.594.

Total odometry as is 21.11 miles (35,582.33 meters).




sols 3220-3227, Feb. 13, 2013-Feb. 20, 2013: 'Big Nickel' Rock Target Ahead

Opportunity is conducting the post-walkabout in-situ (contact) science campaign at different locations around the inboard edge of 'Cape York' on the rim of Endeavour Crater.

On Sol 3221 (Feb. 14, 2013), it was planned to have the rover perform a very small turn to position the robotic arm for an acceptable surface target, but a Deep Space Network issue prevented the command sequences from reaching the rover. With imagery subsequently returned from Opportunity, an acceptable target was found within reach of the arm, negating the need for a turn.

On Sol 3224 (Feb. 17, 2013), Opportunity used the Rock Abrasion Tool (RAT) to brush the surface target 'Maley,' which was then followed by a Microscopic Imager (MI) mosaic and a placement of the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) for an overnight integration. With work complete at this location, on Sol 3227 (Feb. 20, 2013), the rover drove approximately 120 feet (36.5 meters) to the southeast towards the rock target 'Big Nickel' to begin an in-situ investigation there. No 'amnesia' events with the Flash file system have occurred since Sol 3183 (Jan. 6, 2013), and the rover is otherwise in good health.

As of Sol 3226 (Feb. 19, 2013), the solar array energy production was 521 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.829 and an estimated solar array dust factor of 0.618.

Total odometry is 22.11 miles (35576.09 meters).




sols 3214-3219, Feb. 6, 2013-Feb. 12, 2013: Opportunity is on a Rock Hunt

Opportunity is conducting the post-walkabout in-situ (contact) science campaign at different locations around the inboard edge of 'Cape York' on the rim of Endeavour Crater.

On Sol 3214 (Feb. 6, 2013), the rover completed the investigation of the target 'Fecunis Lake' with a Rock Abrasion Tool (RAT) brush of the target followed by a Microscopic Imager (MI) mosaic and an Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) placement. On Sol 3216 (Feb. 9, 2013), Opportunity bumped back to image the brushed target with Panoramic Camera (Pancam) image, then drove about 52 feet (16 meters) to the west towards a new target of interest. On Sol 3219 (Feb. 12, 2013), the rover bumped about 5.9 feet (1.8 meters) towards the new target 'Maley.' No 'amnesia' events with the Flash file system have occurred since Sol 3183 (Jan. 6, 2013), and the rover is otherwise in good health.

As of Sol 3219 (Feb. 12, 2013), the solar array energy production was 490 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.891 and a solar array dust factor of 0.626.

Total odometry is 22.08 miles (35539.61 meters).




sols 3208-3213, Jan. 31, 2013-Feb. 05, 2013: Rover 'Walkabout' Continues at Cape York

Opportunity is conducting the post-walkabout in-situ (contact) science campaign on the inboard edge of Cape York on the rim of Endeavour Crater.

On Sol 3208 (Jan. 31, 2013), the rover collected a Microscopic Imager (MI) mosaic of the target 'Fullerton2,' which was then followed by the placement of the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) for an overnight integration. On the next sol, the Rock Abrasion Tool (RAT) was used the brush the same target and collect another MI mosaic and overnight APXS integration.

With work complete at this target location, Opportunity drove north on Sol 3212 (Feb. 4, 2013), with an approximate 116 foot (35.5-meter) drive. On the following sol, the rover bumped into position with a 15 foot (4.5-meter) move for some new in-situ work. No 'amnesia' events with the Flash file system have occurred since Sol 3183 (Jan. 6, 2013), and the rover is otherwise in good health.

As of Sol 3212 (Feb. 4, 2013), the solar array energy production was 554 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.926 and a solar array dust factor of 0.643.

Total odometry is 22.07 miles (35521.75 meters).




sols 3200-3207, Jan. 23, 2013-Jan. 30, 2013: Sampling Several Rock Targets

Opportunity is moving around the inboard edge of "Cape York" on the rim of Endeavour Crater, performing in-situ (contact) science investigations.

On Sol 3200 (Jan. 23, 2013), the rover completed its study of the "Whitewater Lake" outcrop with a Microscopic Imager (MI) mosaic of target "Ortiz2b" and a subsequent Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) placement on the same for an overnight integration. On Sol 3203 (Jan. 26, 2013), Opportunity left the Whitewater outcrop and headed for the "Flack Lake" area with a 71 feet (21.5-meter) drive to the north. On Sol 3205 (Jan. 28, 2013), the rover performed a slight turn for communications to improve relay downlink and performed a Rock Abrasion Tool (RAT) bit imaging survey to assess the bit usage. On Sol 3206 (Jan. 29, 2013), Opportunity approached a "Newberry"-rich target to the west with a 16 feet (4.8-meter) bump, to investigate the small spherules. On the next sol, a MI mosaic was performed on the Newberry-rich target, named "Fullerton1," followed by an overnight APXS placement. No "amnesia" events with the Flash file system have occurred since Sol 3183 (Jan. 6, 2013) and the rover is otherwise in good health.

As of Sol 3206 (Jan. 29, 2013), the solar array energy production was 534 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.974 and a solar array dust factor of 0.644.

Total odometry is 22.05 miles (35,481.74 meters).




sols 3194-3199, Jan. 17, 2013-Jan. 22, 2013: Opportunity At Work At 'Whitewater Lake'

Opportunity is on the inboard edge of "Cape York" on the rim of Endeavour Crater, performing an in-situ (contact) science investigation of veins in the light-toned outcrop "Whitewater Lake."

On Sol 3194 (Jan. 17, 2013), the rover collected a Microscopic Imager (MI) mosaic of the target "Ortiz3," then placed the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) on the target for an overnight integration. On Sol 3197 (Jan. 20, 2013), during an attempt to brush the vein surface target with the Rock Abrasion Tool (RAT), a stall in Joint 2 (shoulder elevation) of the robotic arm occurred. The stall occurred during a very slow upward movement of the arm. This kind of stall has been experienced before by the rover. The leading theory is that with such slow motion of the arm against gravity, the joint motor does not have sufficient momentum to overcome the magnetic detents within the joint actuator. Initial assessment indicates no degradation in the joint, but the project is continuing to investigate this. No "amnesia" events with the Flash file system have occurred since Sol 3183 (Jan. 6, 2013), and the rover is otherwise in good health. On Sol 3195 (Jan. 18, 2013), a small dust-clearing event occurred, improving solar array energy production slightly.

As of Sol 3199 (Jan. 22, 2013), the solar array energy production was 540 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 1.11 and an improved solar array dust factor of 0.651.

Total odometry is 22.03 miles (35,455.34 meters).



sols 3187-3193, Jan. 10, 2013-Jan. 16, 2013: Investigating Light-toned Veins in Rock Outcrop

Opportunity is on the inboard edge of "Cape York" on the rim of Endeavour Crater, now engaged in in-situ (contact) science investigation of veins in the light-toned outcrop "Whitewater Lake," a place the rover visited previously.

On Sol 3187 (Jan. 10, 2013), the rover bumped a little over a meter to reach the vein targets in the outcrop, named "Ortiz." On Sol 3189 (Jan. 12, 2013), Opportunity, using her robotic arm, collected a large Microscopic Imager (MI) mosaic of the vein targets. This was followed by the placement of the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) for an overnight integration. On Sol 3191 (Jan. 14, 2013), the rover collected more MI mosaics of a target offset from the first and completed this with placing the APXS on the new target.

Opportunity started exhibiting memory symptoms this month similar to events seen with Spirit in 2009. This is not a health and safety concern, but can cause loss of some data intended for downlink. It can be avoided for more important data by downlinking before any rover nap. The suspect cause is corruption in the flash file system used by the rover for non-volatile telemetry storage. The project implemented a detection diagnostic on Sol 3189 (Jan. 12, 2013) to flag the occurrence of these events in separate non-volatile memory. No events have occurred since Sol 3183 (Jan. 6, 2013), and the rover remains in good health.

As of Sol 3193 (Jan. 16, 2013), the solar array energy production was 498 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 1.08 and a solar array dust factor of 0.623.

Total odometry is 22.03 miles (35,455.34 meters).



sols 3181-3186, Jan. 4, 2013-Jan. 9, 2013: Heading Toward Light-Toned Veins

Opportunity is on the inboard edge of "Cape York" on the rim of Endeavour Crater at the local region called "Matijevic Hill." The rover completed the in-situ (contact) analysis at the location called "Copper Cliff."

On Sol 3182 (Jan. 5, 2013), the rover departed Copper Cliff and drove approximately 43 feet (13 meters) towards a location near "Whitewater Lake." The intention is to position the rover near a previously seen light-toned vein for in-situ analysis. On Sol 3185 (Jan. 8, 2013), Opportunity bumped closer to the intended target with a small 8.5 feet (2.6-meter) move. A final bump into position for the vein investigation is planned for Sol 3187 (Jan. 10, 2013).

As of Sol 3186 (Jan. 9, 2013), the solar array energy production was 509 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 1.01 and a solar array dust factor of 0.620.

Total odometry is 22.03 miles (35,454.23 meters).



sols 3174-3180, Dec. 27, 2012-Jan. 3, 2013: Dust Cleaning At 'Vermillion' Targets

Opportunity is on the inboard edge of "Cape York" on the rim of Endeavour crater. The rover has been conducting in-situ (contact) science investigations with the robotic arm instruments at a location called "Copper Cliff."

On Sol 3174 (Dec. 27, 2012), the robotic arm was used to reposition the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) on a target called "Vermilion Lake 1" for a multi-sol integration. On Sol 3177 (Dec. 31, 2012), the Microscopic Imager (MI) was used to collect images of a new target, "Vermilion Lake 2." This was followed by a placement of the APXS for another integration. On Sol 3179 (Jan. 2, 2013), the rover's robotic arm repositioned the APXS on yet another target, "Vermilion Cliffs 2," for further integration measurements.

A small dust cleaning event occurred on Sol 3175 (Dec. 29, 2012), improving the energy production by about 40 watt-hours per sol. As of Sol 3180 (Jan. 3, 2013), the solar array energy production was 542 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.961 and an improved solar array dust factor of 0.633.

Total odometry remains at 22.02 miles (35,438.37 meters).


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