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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 3868-3874, December 10, 2014-December 17, 2014: Rover No-Flash Mode

Opportunity is on the west rim of Endeavour Crater heading towards 'Marathon Valley,' a location assumed to have abundant clay minerals only about a half-mile (800 meters) to the south.

With the continuing Flash memory problems on the rover, the project has chosen to operate the rover without using the non-volatile Flash storage system and instead rely on the volatile random access memory (RAM) for temporary storage of telemetry, or rover data. Longer term, the project will implement 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 memory for data storage, Opportunity drove on Sols 3868, 3870 and 3873 (Dec. 10, 12 and 16, 2014), totaling over 361 feet (110 meters). Engineers collected drive direction imagery and atmospheric observations on the same sol of each drive. Drivers are developing sets of multi-sol plans, some containing drives, to carry the rover's activities through the coming holidays.

As of Sol 3874 (Dec. 17, 2014), the solar array energy production was 494 watt-hours, an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 1.189 and a solar array dust factor of 0.646.

Total odometry is 25.73 miles (41.42 kilometers).




sols 3862-3867, December 04, 2014-December 09, 2014: Flash-Memory Resets Continue

Opportunity is on the west rim of Endeavour Crater heading towards 'Marathon Valley,' a putative location for abundant clay minerals only about a mile (about 1 kilometer) to the south.

Because of the deteriorating performance of the Flash file system, the project reformatted the rover's Flash memory on Sol 3862 (Dec. 4, 2014). Although the rover's operation improved immediately after the reformat, Flash behavior quickly deteriorated. Opportunity experienced a set of resets on Sols 3864 and 3865 (Dec. 6 and Dec. 7, 2014). After this, the project made the decision to operate the rover without the use of Flash memory until another fix can be implemented. On Sol 3866 (Dec. 8, 2014), the rover was booted without using Flash (and instead storing data products in volatile RAM memory) and all the fault conditions were cleared. On Sol 3867 (Dec. 9, 2014), Opportunity performed light science activities in preparation for driving on the next sol. Longer term, the project is developing a strategy to mask off the troubled sector of Flash and resume using the remainder of the Flash file system.

As of Sol 3867 (Dec. 9, 2014), the solar array energy production was 500 watt-hours, an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 1.215 and a solar array dust factor of 0.659.

Total odometry is 25.66 miles (41.30) kilometers.




sols 3852-3861, November 24, 2014-December 03, 2014: Flash-Memory Reformat Planned

Opportunity is on the west rim of Endeavour Crater heading towards 'Marathon Valley,' a putative location for abundant clay minerals less than a mile (about a kilometer) to the south.

The rover is stopped at an interesting geologic unit and conducting in-situ (contact) measurements. On Sol 3853 (Nov. 25, 2014), the rover used the robotic arm to reposition the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) for a surface measurement. On the next sol, the Rock Abrasion Tool (RAT) was used to brush a new surface target, which was then imaged with the Microscopic Imager (MI) and examined with the APXS.

With the Thanksgiving holiday, a multi-sol plan was built to collect Pancam images over the long holiday weekend. However, the rover experienced amnesia events and then a computer reset around Sol 3856 (Nov. 28, 2014). After the reboot, the rover was no longer under sequence control and was unable to mount the flash (non-volatile) memory. The project restored the rover to normal sequence operation on Sol 3859 (Dec. 1, 2014), but the flash file system remained unavailable. The project prepared for a reformatting of the flash memory on Sol 3862 (Dec. 4, 2014).

As of Sol 3859 (Dec. 1, 2014), solar-array energy production was 468 watt-hours, with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 1.376 and a solar-array dust factor of 0.638.

Total odometry as of Sol 3861 (Dec. 3, 2014) is 25.66 miles (41.30 kilometers).




sols 3847-3851, November 20, 2014-November 27, 2014: Giving Thanks for Opportunity's Great Work!

Opportunity is on the west rim of Endeavour Crater heading towards 'Marathon Valley', a location assumed to have abundant clay minerals slightly over a half mile (1 kilometer) to the south.

The rover is stopped at an interesting geologic unit and conducting in-situ (contact) measurements. On Sol 3848 (Nov. 21, 2014), the rover began the investigation of a light-toned vein, first with a Microscopic Imager (MI) mosaic and then with the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) placed on the same for a multi-hour integration.

On the next sol, Opportunity offset the placement of the APXS for a second measurement. To investigate the rock matrix surrounding the vein, drivers used the Rock Abrasion Tool (RAT) on Sol 3850 (Nov. 26, 2014) to brush an exposed outcrop surface and then followed this with a MI mosaic and another APXS placement. The plan ahead is to perform a multi-sol APXS integration and extensive remote sensing before driving away after the Thanksgiving holiday. As of Sol 3850 (Nov. 26, 2014), the rover is in good health with solar array energy production of 469 watt-hours, an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 1.458 and a solar array dust factor of 0.651.

Total odometry is 25.6 miles (41.3 kilometers).




sols 3840-3846, November 12, 2014-November 19, 2014: Marathon Driving to Marathon Valley

Opportunity is on the west rim of Endeavour Crater heading towards 'Marathon Valley', a location assumed to have abundant clay minerals slightly over a half mile (1 kilometer) to the south.

The rover is continuing the driving pace. On Sol 3841 (Nov. 13, 2014), Opportunity completed a 253 foot drive (77 meter) due south. The drive was a combination of both blind driving (in which the drive sequences are programmed by drivers on Earth) and autonomous guarded driving (in which the rover can make some of its own driving decisions). Post-drive Navigation Camera (Navcam) and Panoramic camera (Pancam) panoramas were collected to support the next drive.

Over the 3-sol weekend, it was decided to perform a multi-sol autonomous (guarded) drive. On Sol 3843 (Nov. 14, 2014), Opportunity drove 128 feet (39 meters) on the first sol with a 90-degree 'dog leg' mid-drive southwest to southeast. The rover also collected mid-drive Navcam imagery and post drive Pancam and Navcam panoramas. On the second sol (Nov. 15, 2014), the rover performed an autonomous guarded drive of over 131 feet (40 meters) to the south, collecting more panoramic imagery at the end of the drive. On Sol 3846 (Nov. 19, 2014), the rover moved just under 33 feet (10 meters) to position herself near a light-toned exposed outcrop for possible contact investigation and documented the location with a Navcam panorama.

As of Sol 3846 (Nov. 19, 2014), the rover is in good health with solar array energy production of 494 watt-hours, an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 1.467 and a solar array dust factor of 0.674.

Total odometry: 25.6 miles (41.3 kilometers).




sols 3835-3839, November 07, 2014-November 11, 2014: Several Drives Push Opportunity Over 41-Kilometer Mark!

Opportunity is on the west rim of Endeavour Crater heading towards "Marathon Valley," a putative location for abundant clay minerals about a mile (1.4 kilometers) to the south.

The rover has begun to pick up the pace. Sol 3836 (Nov. 8, 2014), was the first sol of a 2-sol "Touch 'n Go" using the robotic arm to gather information of a target of opportunity within the arm work volume from the last drive.

Opportunity collected a Microscopic Imager (MI) mosaic of the surface soil target, called "Rock Creek," then placed the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) on the same for a multi-hour integration. On the next sol, the rover drove about 226 feet (69 meters) to the south, passing 25.48 miles (41 kilometers) of odometry.

On Sol 3839 (Nov. 11, 2014), Opportunity continued the fast-pace push to the south with over 371 feet (113 meters) of driving. The first portion was driven blind with the final part using guarded (autonomous) motion. Both drives involved collecting pre-drive targeted imaging and post-drive panoramas. An atmospheric argon measurement with the APXS was performed on Sol 3835 (Nov. 7, 2014). The rover is in good health.

As of Sol 3839 (Nov. 11, 2014), the solar array energy production was 516 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 1.474 and a solar array dust factor of 0.713.

Total odometry is 25.56 miles (41.14 kilometers).




sols 3827-3834, October 29, 2014-November 06, 2014: Dust Levels Back to Normal

Opportunity is on the west rim of Endeavour Crater heading towards 'Marathon Valley,' a putative location for abundant clay minerals about a mile (1.6 kilometers) to the south.

The rover has completed the investigation of the Ulysses crater and is exiting the ejecta field to resume the strategic drive south. The regional dust storms that had raised atmospheric opacity (tau) have abated and the tau is returning to normal seasonal levels. On Sols 3827 and 3828 (Oct. 29 and Oct. 30, 2014), Opportunity drove 38 feet (11.6 meters) and 39 feet (12.0 meters), respectively in rocky terrain to exit the Ulysses crater ejecta field.

On Sol 3829 (Oct. 31, 2014), the rover again drove to complete the exit from the ejecta field, but high slip terminated the drive after just 5 feet (1.5 meters). A careful assessment indicated the rover was safe and the cause of the slip was the high slopes and loose soil.

On Sol 3832 (Nov. 3, 2014), a modified drive of over 105 feet (32 meters) permitted the rover to safely exit the ejecta field. On Sols 3833 and 3834 (Nov. 4 and Nov. 6, 2014), Opportunity headed south with drives of 106 feet (32.4 metes) and 132 feet (40.25 meters) respectively. The project has also implemented a more advanced diagnostic for amnesia events, if any occur. The rover continues in good health.

As of Sol 3834 (Nov. 6, 2014), the solar array energy production was 505 watt-hours with an improved atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 1.359 and a solar array dust factor of 0.711.

Total odometry is 25.45 miles (40.95 kilometers).




sols 3821-3826, October 23, 2014-October 28, 2014: Dust Storm Watch

Opportunity is on the west rim of Endeavour Crater heading towards 'Marathon Valley,' a putative location for abundant clay minerals only a mile (1.6 kilometers) to the south.

The rover has completed the investigation of the Ulysses crater ejecta field and is now heading south again. Regional dust storms have elevated the atmospheric opacity with tau values above 2 for several sols. On Sol 3821 (Oct. 23, 2014), Opportunity drove about 89 feet (27 meters) through a complex obstacle course of rocks as the rover departs the rugged ejecta field. After collecting post-drive Hazardous Camera (Hazcam) and Panoramic Camera (Pancam) panoramas, Opportunity also collected some targeted Pancam observations on Sol 3822 (Oct. 24, 2014). Over the evening of Sol 3823 (Oct. 25, 2014), the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) collected an atmospheric argon measurement. On Sol 3825 (Oct. 27, 2014), with the tau above 2, a short 22-foot (7-meter) drive was completed to place the rover at a location where the tilt was more favorable for energy production. The plan ahead is for more driving south. The project continues to watch the weather on Mars as Opportunity continues in good health.

As of Sol 3826 (Oct. 28, 2014), the solar array energy production was 441 watt-hours with an elevated atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 1.845 and a solar array dust factor of 0.700.

Total odometry is 25.37 (40.82 kilometers).




sols 3813-3820, October 15, 2014-October 22, 2014: Opportunity Snaps Images of Comet Siding Spring

Opportunity is on the west rim of Endeavour Crater heading towards 'Marathon Valley,' a putative location for abundant clay minerals only a mile (1.6 kilometers) to the south.

This past week the rover continued its examination of the ejecta field of the small crater named 'Ulysses,' as well as taking time out to take a unique photo opportunity of Comet Siding Spring. See comet images at: http://mars.nasa.gov/comets/sidingspring/.

On Sol 3814 (Oct. 16, 2014), Opportunity began the first of a two-step drive toward target 'Birmingham,' which appeared to be granular. Upon closer inspection this did not turn out to be the case but was deemed more likely to be impact melt. It was still considered interesting enough to analyze, and so the rover bumped to set up for the Instrument Deployment Device on Sol 3817 (Oct. 19, 2014).

In the meantime, on Sol 3817 (Oct. 21, 2014) Opportunity successfully acquired a set of spectacular images of Comet Siding Spring during its close approach to Mars. The bump to Birmingham on Sol 3817 having also been successful, the rover proceeded to perform a Microscopic Imager (MI) and Alpha Particle X-Ray Spectrometer (APXS) on target 'Crimson Tide' in the Sol 3819 (Oct. 21, 2014) plan. Unfortunately, the rover experienced two additional 'amnesia' events during this period - one on Sol 3813 (Oct. 15, 2014) and another on Sol 3817 (Oct. 19, 2014). Neither impacted rover operations. The rover is in otherwise good health.

As of Sol 3820 (Oct. 20, 2014), the solar array energy production was 434 watt-hours with an elevated atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 1.75 and a solar array dust factor of 0.697.

Total odometry is 25.35 miles (40.79 kilometers).




sols 3806-3812, October 08, 2014-October 14, 2014: Prepping for Comet Siding Spring Imaging

Opportunity is on the west rim of Endeavour Crater heading towards 'Marathon Valley,' a putative location for abundant clay minerals only a mile (1.6 kilometers) to the south.

The rover is examining the ejecta field of the small crater named 'Ulysses' and preparing for observations of Comet Siding Spring later in the week. On Sol 3806 (Oct. 8, 2014), Opportunity took a late evening set of Panoramic Camera (Pancam) images as a preliminary test of imaging the comet.

On the next sol, Opportunity bumped 5 inches (13 centimeters) to get off some small rocks under the wheels. On Sol 3809 (Oct. 11, 2014), there looked to be a small rock underneath the left front wheel that might cause the rover to shift if the robotic arm is pressed against the surface target for a Rock Abrasion Tool (RAT) brush. So, a basic set of Microscopic Imager (MI) mosaics and an Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) was performed without surface contact. Then a RAT preload test was done to see if the rover moved at all. Since no movement was observed, it was judged that the rover was stable enough to proceed with a RAT brush on Sol 3812 (Oct. 14, 2014).

That morning another comet imaging test was performed as a 'dress rehearsal' for the actual observations one week later. After the successful brush on Sol 3812, another MI mosaic was collected and the APXS was placed for a multi-sol integration. Another 'amnesia' event occurred on the evening of Sol 3812, however it was benign to rover operations. The rover is otherwise in good health.

As of Sol 3812 (Oct. 14, 2014), the solar array energy production was 605 watt-hours with a slightly elevated atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 1.19 and a solar array dust factor of 0.763.

Total odometry is 25.34 miles (40.78 kilometers).




sols 3799-3805, October 01, 2014-October 07, 2014: Studying Blanket of Material Around 'Ulysses' Crater

Opportunity is on the west rim of Endeavour Crater heading towards 'Marathon Valley,' a putative location for abundant clay minerals only a mile (1.6 kilometers) to the south.

The rover is examining the ejecta field of the small crater named 'Ulysses.' On Sol 3799 (Oct. 1, 2014), Opportunity performed more twilight tests with the Panoramic Camera (Pancam) in preparation for late night/early morning imaging of Comet Siding Spring during closest approach in about two weeks.

On Sol 3800 (Oct. 2, 2014), the rover began the investigation of a curious flake or rind on a rock in the crater's ejecta field. Using the instruments on the robotic arm, Opportunity first collected a Microscopic Imager (MI) mosaic, then, placed the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) near the flake to measure its elemental composition. On Sol 3802 (Oct. 4, 2014), as the first sol of a 'touch n' go,' the APXS was repositioned on the target for a second integration. On the next sol, Opportunity drove over the target and turned around to face the other side of the rock target. On Sol 3805 (Oct. 7, 2014), the rover bumped a little over a meter to get closer to the target. The plan ahead is to try and brush part of the rock. No Flash-related anomalies have occurred recently and Opportunity is in good health.

As of Sol 3805 (Oct. 7, 2014), the solar array energy production was 640 watt-hours with a slightly elevated atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 1.037 and a solar array dust factor of 0.763.

Total odometry is 25.34 miles (40.78 kilometers).



sols 3793-3798, September 24, 2014-September 30, 2014: Opportunity Takes Twilight Images; Preps for Comet Siding Spring Encounter

Opportunity is on the west rim of Endeavour Crater heading towards "Marathon Valley," a putative location for abundant clay minerals only a mile (1.6 kilometers) to the south.

The rover is examining the ejecta field of the small crater named "Ulysses." On Sol 3793 (Sept. 24, 2014), the rover bumped 5.4 feet (1.65 meters) towards a surface target, called "Hoover," collecting panoramic imagery before and after the drive. A test of a twilight Panoramic Camera (Pancam) observation was performed as preparation for the observations Comet Siding Spring in a few weeks (Oct. 19, 2014).

That evening on Sol 3793, the rover experienced both an "amnesia" event and a reset of the rover. The reset cancelled all running sequences and put the rover into auto mode. The rover was healthy, so the project restored the rover to normal sequence operation on Sol 3795 (Sept. 26, 2014). On that sol, Opportunity performed a Rock Abrasion Tool brush of the surface target Hoover, collected a Microscopic Imager mosaic of the brushed area, then placed the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer for an overnight integration. That evening, another amnesia event occurred, but was benign.

On Sol 3798 (Sept. 30, 2014), Opportunity bumped again, about 6.6 feet (2 meters), towards another surface target for in-situ (contact) investigation. The project continues to investigate the anomalous events associated with the Flash file system. Opportunity is otherwise in good health.

As of Sol 3798, the solar array energy production was 630 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.943 and a solar array dust factor of 0.735.

Total odometry is 25.34 miles (40.78 kilometers).



sols 3786-3792, September 17, 2014-September 23, 2014: Opportunity's Heading to a Small Crater Called 'Ulysses'

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

The rover is headed to a near-term target, a small crater named "Ulysses." The rover is moving closer to Ulysses to get a peek inside. On Sol 3787 (Sept. 18, 2014), Opportunity drove a little over 44 feet (13.5 meters) in rocky terrain, requiring the use of Visual Odometry to safely navigate. On Sol 3789 (Sept. 20, 2014), the rover moved closer to the rim of Ulysses, but the drive stopped after 15 feet (4.6 meters) because Visual Odometry was not tracking on the last steps. An evening Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer measurement of atmospheric argon was performed on Sol 3790 (Sept. 21, 2014). The rover continued closer to Ulysses on the next sol with a 13-feet (4-meter) bump. High slip prevented the rover from completing the turn for communication at the end of the drive.

Recently, there were more Flash-related events. Two more "amnesia" events occurred on the evenings of Sols 3786 and 3789 (Sept. 17 and Sept. 20, 2014). And two Flash write errors to Bank 7 occurred on Sols 3791 and 3792 (Sept. 22 and Sept. 23, 2014). All these events were benign and did not impact the rover's operation. The project continues to investigate. Otherwise, Opportunity continues in good health.

As of Sol 3792 (Sept. 23, 2014), the solar array energy production was 639 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.889 and a solar array dust factor of 0.740.

Total odometry is 25.34 (40.77 kilometers).




sols 3779-3785, September 10, 2014-September 16, 2014: Back to Driving

Opportunity is on the west rim of Endeavour Crater heading towards 'Marathon Valley,' a putative location for abundant clay minerals.

The rover is headed to a near-term target, a small crater named 'Ulysses.' On Sol 3780 (Sept. 11, 2014), Opportunity drove a little over 33 feet (10 meters) in rocky terrain, requiring the use of Visual Odometry to safely navigate the rock hazards. On the evening of Sol 3781 (Sept. 12, 2014), an atmospheric argon measurement was collected using the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer. The next day, the rover drove again, achieving over 66 feet (20 meters) in the difficult terrain.

On the evening of Sol 3783 (Sept. 14, 2014), an 'amnesia' event occurred. This results from the rover being unable to mount its Flash (non-volatile) file storage system during the wake up for Deep Sleep. A reformat of the Flash file system was performed 10 sols ago and corrected many of the worn out cells in Flash. No science data was lost as a result of the amnesia event and the rover continued normally.

The 98 feet (30-meter) drive on the next sol completed without any issues and the rover performed nominally. The project continues to investigate the Flash-related issues. The rover is otherwise operating in good health.

As of Sol 3785 (Sept. 16, 2014), the solar array energy production was 693 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.905 and a solar array dust factor of 0.768.

Total odometry is 25.32 miles (40.75 kilometers).




sols 3773-3778, September 04, 2014-September 09, 2014: Flash-Memory Reformat Successful!

Opportunity is on the west rim of Endeavour Crater heading towards 'Marathon Valley,' a putative location for abundant clay minerals.

The rover's Flash file system was successfully reformatted on Sol 3773 (Sept. 4, 2014). The Flash space available is slightly smaller (<1%) than before the reformat, consistent with the reformatting process flagging some bad cells to avoid. On Sol 3775 (Sept. 6, 2014), some scripts and configuration files were copied back to Flash from EEPROM (other non-volatile storage) were they were kept during the reformat. Other configuration files were loaded from the ground on Sol 3776 (Sept. 7, 2014). The rover has performed without any anomalies or unusual behavior since the reformat.

A drive was sequenced on Sol 3778 (Sept. 9, 2014), using visual odometry to navigate around potential rock obstacles. The drive stopped almost as soon as it started because the rover's visual odometry could not find enough visual features for the algorithm to converge. The plan ahead is to re-sequence the drive but to instruct the rover to use a different scene with more visual features for the visual odometry.

As of Sol 3778 (Sept. 9, 2014), the solar array energy production was 694 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.879 and a solar array dust factor of 0.754.

Total odometry is 25.28 miles (40.69 kilometers).




sols 3767-3772, August 29, 2014-September 03, 2014: Flash-Memory Reformat is Underway

Opportunity is on the west rim of Endeavour Crater heading towards 'Marathon Valley,' a putative location for abundant clay minerals. The project is taking steps to reformat the rover's Flash file system to correct the recurring reset problem.

On Sols 3767 and 3768 (Aug. 29 and 30, 2014), the project sent special commands to put the rover into a mode that does not use the Flash file system. This was successful and the rover performed without any errors for those two sols. A diagnostic check of the flight software portion of Flash was also performed. For Sols 3769, 3770 and 3771 (Aug. 31, Sept. 1 and Sept. 2, 2014), the rover was operated back in its normal mode using the Flash files system. The rover remained under master sequence control for all three sols without any Flash-induced resets.

On Sol 3772 (Sept. 3, 2014), the project began the process of copying a subset of necessary files from the Flash files system over to EEPROM (other non-volatile storage) for safe keeping during the reformat process. The plan ahead is to perform the reformat of the Flash files system, then restore the necessary files to Flash. At that point, the rover should be back into normal operation.

As of Sol 3771 (Sept. 2, 2014), the solar array energy production was 713 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.852 and a solar array dust factor of 0.771.

Total odometry is 25.28 miles (40.69 kilometers).




sols 3759-3766, August 20, 2014-August 28, 2014: Flash-Memory Reformat Planned

Opportunity is on the west rim of Endeavour Crater heading toward 'Marathon Valley', a putative location for abundant clay minerals. However, flash-memory induced resets have increased in occurrence, preventing meaningful science until this problem can be corrected. The project is developing plans to reformat the flash file system to correct the problem.

A flash-memory reformat was done successfully five years ago on Spirit, but this will be the first time on Opportunity. The project is preparing the rover for the reformatting. With no master sequence running, the flash memory is being systematically emptied of science data products. On Sol 3762 (Aug. 24, 2014), the project activated a new communication table on the rover, insuring predictable communication for the next several weeks. Due to the complexity of the frequent resets hitting during high-gain antenna passes causing subsequent X-band faults, the team sent a real-time command of a special sequence that converts the next several X-band passes to use the low-gain antenna. This was completed on Sol 3766 (Aug. 26, 2014).

The next step in the plan is to boot the rover into a mode that does not use the flash file system. This will allow confirmation of the health of the rover independent of the flash file system. Also, the operations team has sequenced a checksum test of the lower portion of flash to get some data on the physical heath of the flash memory chips in general. Remaining science data will be returned from the flash file system prior to the reformat.

The rover remains power positive with a healthy energy balance, thermally stable and communicative both over X-band with the DSN and via UHF relay with the orbiters.

As of Sol 3764 (Aug. 26, 2014), the solar array energy production was 680 watt-hours with an estimated atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.858 and a solar array dust factor of 0.753.

Total odometry as of Sol 3765 (Aug. 27, 2014) is 25.28 miles (40.69 kilometers).




sols 3752-3758, August 13, 2014-August 19, 2014: Rover Suffers a Series of Resets This Week

Opportunity is moving south along the west rim of Endeavour Crater heading towards 'Marathon Valley,' a putative location for abundant clay minerals.

More recently, the incidence of Flash memory-induced resets has increased. The rover experienced resets on Sols 3754, 3757 and 3758 (Aug. 15, 18, and 19, 2014), which stops the onboard master sequence. Because of the project's vigilance and timely actions, the impact of the resets on rover science and exploration has been minimized. But the increase reset rate is compelling expedited corrective action to the Flash memory issue.

On Sol 3752 (Aug. 13, 2014), Opportunity bumped just a few feet (over a meter) to a surface target, called 'Mt. Edgecumbe.' On the next sol, the robotic arm was used to collect a Microscopic Imager mosaic of the target, and then placed the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) on the same for multi-sol integration. The reset on Sol 3754 (Aug. 15, 2014) cut short the integration to a single sol. On Sol 3757 (Aug. 18, 2014), another reset occurred, but real-time action from mission controllers reactivated the rover's sequence and Opportunity was able to complete the planned drive, achieving about 157 feet (48 meters). Another reset happened on Sol 3758 (Aug. 19, 2014), suspending the remote sensing observation on that sol. The plan ahead to resume rover activities, including driving, until the reset problem can be corrected.

As of Sol 3758 (Aug. 19, 2014), the solar array energy production was 692 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.888 and a solar array dust factor of 0.788.

Total odometry is 25.28 miles (40.69 kilometers).




sols 3745-3751, August 06, 2014-August 12, 2014: Ground Control Restored Quickly After Reset

Opportunity is moving south along the west rim of Endeavour Crater heading towards "Marathon Valley," a putative location for abundant clay minerals.

On Sol 3746 (Aug. 7, 2014), the rover began with a Phobos moon transit observation, then a 236-foot (72-meter) drive south towards a formation, called "Wdowiak Ridge." On the evening of that sol, Opportunity experienced a Flash-induced reset that stopped all sequences, but otherwise left the rover in good health.

At the start of the next plan, the project commanded a real-time activate for Opportunity to restore sequence control and to execute the next plan, a 2-sol "touch 'n go." On Sol 3748 (Aug. 9, 2014), Opportunity used the robotic arm to collect a Microscopic Imager mosaic of a target of opportunity called "Icy Straight." This was followed by the placement of the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer on the same surface target for a multi-hour integration ("the touch"). Then, on Sol 3749 (Aug. 10, 2014), the rover drove over 328 feet (100 meters) ("the go"), including some mid-drive imaging. Keeping up the pace, the rover continued driving south towards Wdowiak Ridge on the next two sols with drives of 183 feet and 108 feet (56 meters and 33 meters), respectively.

As of Sol 3751 (Aug. 12, 2014), the solar array energy production was 679 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.811 and a solar array dust factor of 0.789.

Total odometry is 25.25 (40.63 kilometers).




sols 3739-3744, July 31, 2014-August 05, 2014: Opportunity Heads to 'Marathon Valley'

Opportunity is moving south along the west rim of Endeavour Crater heading towards 'Marathon Valley,' a notch observed from orbit to have an abundant clay mineral signature.

On Sol 3739 (July 31, 2014), the rover made an approach to a surface target of interest with a 26-feet (8-meter) drive. At the end of the sol, Opportunity collected some Panoramic Camera (Pancam) imagery and performed an atmospheric argon measurement with the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS). On Sol 3741 (Aug. 2, 2014), the rover began two sols of in-situ (contact) science using the robotic arm instruments. On the first sol Opportunity collected a Microscopic Imager (MI) mosaic of the target 'Fairweather,' and then placed the APXS for a multi-hour integration. On the next sol, the observations were repeated on a second, offset target. With the in-situ work complete, the rover headed south again on Sol 3744 (Aug. 5, 2014), driving over 282 feet (86 meters). The drive was followed with the usual post-drive Navigation Camera (Navcam) and Pancam panoramas to support the next drive.

As of Sol 3744 (Aug. 5, 2014), the solar array energy production was 686 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.872 and a solar array dust factor of 0.802.

Total odometry is 25.09 miles (40.38 kilometers).




sols 3731-3738, July 23, 2014-July 30, 2014: Opportunity Holds the Off-Earth Driving Distance Record

Opportunity has driven more than 25 miles (40 kilometers) and is now the off-Earth driving distance record holder!

Opportunity is moving south along the west rim of Endeavour Crater heading towards 'Marathon Valley.' This valley has been observed from orbit to have an abundant clay mineral signature.

On Sol 3732 (July 24, 2014) the rover continued south with a 236 feet (72-meter) drive, collecting Panoramic Camera (Pancam) images before, during and after the drive along with a post-drive Navigation Camera (Navcam) panorama. On the following sol, Opportunity collected an InSIGHT atmospheric opacity (tau) measurement. On Sol 3734 (July 26, 2014), the rover began the first sol of a two-sol 'touch & go'. On the first sol, Opportunity collected a Microscopic Imager (MI) mosaic of the surface target 'Rosebud Canyon,' then placed the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer on the same for a multi-hour integration ('the Touch'). On the second sol, the rover drove south over 157 feet (48 meters) ('The Go'). With that drive, Opportunity crossed the 25-mile mark of distance on the surface. The rover has established herself as the record holder for the longest distance driven off the Earth.

On Sol 3737 (July 29, 2014), the science team chose to return to an interesting target about 30 meters to the north for further investigation and documentation.

As of Sol 3738 (July 30, 2014), the solar array energy production was 686 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.804 and a solar array dust factor of 0.813.

Total odometry is 25.03 miles (40.28 kilometers).




sols 3726-3730, July 18, 2014-July 22, 2014: Opportunity Passes 25 Miles of Driving on Mars!

Opportunity is exploring south along the west rim of Endeavour Crater heading toward a notch, called 'Marathon Valley' about 1.2 miles (2 kilometers) away.

This valley has been observed from orbit to have an abundant clay mineral signature. On Sol 3727 (July 19, 2014), the rover began the first sol of a two-sol 'Touch 'n Go' with collecting a Microscopic Imager (MI) mosaic of a surface target of opportunity, called 'Barstow,' then placing the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) on the same for a multi-hour integration (the 'Touch'). On the next sol, Opportunity drove over 328 feet (100 meters) (the 'Go') surpassing 25 miles (40 kilometers) in drive distance on Mars. The drive included some mid-drive imaging and post-drive Navigation Camera (Navcam) and Panoramic Camera (Pancam) panoramas. On Sol 3730 (July 22, 2014), the rover moved further with a 325-foot (99-meter) drive, again followed by post-drive Navcam and Pancam panoramas. A Flash memory amnesia event occurred on Sol 3727 (July 19, 2014). However, the science data were recovered with a subsequent second readout of the APXS.

As of Sol 3730 (July 22, 2014), the solar array energy production was 676 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.771 and a solar array dust factor of 0.818.

Total odometry is 24.93 miles (40.13 kilometers).




sols 3718-3725, July 09, 2014-July 17, 2014: Opportunity Heads South Towards Valley A Mile Away

Opportunity is exploring south along the west rim of Endeavour Crater heading toward a valley over 1 mile (2 kilometers) away observed with clay minerals from orbit.

The rover has been busy with driving on six of the last eight days (sols) with some robotic work on one of the two non-driving sols. Opportunity moved a total of 797 feet (243 meters) over the eight-sol period, collecting targeted Panoramic Camera (Pancam) images before each drive and Navigation Camera (Navcam) panoramas after each drive. The vehicle did experience another Flash-induced reset event during the drive on Sol 3724 (July 15, 2014). Although these resets have occurred before, this was the first time that it happened during a drive. The flight team was able to restore normal operations with the rover on the very next sol. The project continues to investigate these Flash-related anomalies.

The one sol of in-situ (contact) science was the first sol of a two-sol autonomous 'touch 'n go' where the rover used the robotic arm (the 'touch') on Sol 3720 (July 11, 2014), to collect a Microscopic Imager mosaic of the surface target 'Trebia,' followed by an overnight contact integration measurement performed by the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS). On the next sol (Sol 2721; July 12, 2014), the rover drove (the 'go') over 213 feet (65 meters) with mid-drive imaging. Opportunity will collect an atmospheric argon measurement with the APXS on the evening of Sol 3725 (July 17, 2014). The rover is in good health and operations are nominal.

As of Sol 3725 (July 17, 2014), the solar array energy production was 652 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.780 (Sol 3724; July 15, 2014) and a solar array dust factor of 0.854 (Sol 3724).

Total odometry is 24.81 miles (39.93 kilometers).




sols 3711-3717, July 02, 2014-July 08, 2014: Rover Completes Study of Area with Aluminum Clay Minerals; Heads South

Opportunity is exploring south along the west rim of Endeavour Crater. The rover completed the survey of the region where orbital data suggests the presence of aluminum-hydroxyl clay minerals.

On Sol 3711 (July 2, 2014), Opportunity began to move south. The rover collected some documentary Panoramic Camera (Pancam) images, and then drove a little over 79 feet (24 meters). The drive was followed by a 360-degree Navigation Camera (Navcam) panorama to document the new location and potential drive directions. On Sol 3713 (July 4, 2014), Opportunity continued heading south with a 43-feet (13-meter)-drive towards a feature called 'Broken Hills.' The drive was again preceded by targeted Pancam images and followed by documentary Navcam panoramas.

The spacecraft clock correction effort continued each sol with the rate increased from 3 to 4 seconds on Sol 3715 (July 6, 2014). On 3716 (July 7, 2014), Opportunity headed closer to Broken Hills with a 62-feet (19-meter)-drive and more documentary imagery, plus an overnight atmospheric argon measurement with the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer. On Sol 3717 (July 8, 2014), the rover performed drive-by and got pictures (mid-drive imagery) of a large fin-like structure of Broken Hills as it passed during the 39-feet (12-meter)-drive.

As of Sol 3717 (July 8, 2014), the solar array energy production was 735 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.738 and a solar array dust factor of 0.878.

Total odometry is 24.66 miles (39.69 kilometers).




sols 3704-3710, June 25, 2014-July 01, 2014: Rover Uses Arm to Study Several Rocks and Takes Panoramic Images

Opportunity is exploring south along the west rim of Endeavour Crater. The rover is currently surveying a region where orbital data suggests the presence of aluminum-hydroxyl clay minerals.

On Sol 3705 (June 26, 2014), after collecting some color Panoramic Camera (Pancam) observations; Opportunity bumped 5 feet (1.5 meters) to reach some interesting surface targets with the robotic arm instruments. A full 360-degree Navigation Camera (Navcam) panorama was taken to document the rover's location and potential drive directions.

On Sol 3707 (June 28, 2014), the rover began three sols worth on in-situ (contact) investigations. A Microscopic Imager (MI) mosaic was collected of the surface target "Sodaville," followed by a placement of the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) for an overnight integration on the same. On the next sol, Opportunity collected a MI mosaic of the target "Tuscaloosa," followed by another APXS placement. On the third sol, the rover investigated a target just offset from "Sodaville," with another MI mosaic and APXS placement. With the work complete at this target area, on Sol 3710 (July 1, 2014), Opportunity drove over 85 feet (26 meters) south with mid-drive Pancam imagery. Another full 360-degree Navcam panorama was taken to document the new rover location and potential drive directions. Opportunity is in good health with no resets or faults, well-behaved wheel currents and ample energy.

As of Sol 3710 (July 1, 2014), the solar array energy production was 745 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.762 and a solar array dust factor of 0.872.

Total odometry is 24.62 miles (39.62 kilometers).




sols 3697-3703, June 18, 2014-June 24, 2014: Rover Has Enough Energy for Some Late-Night Work

Opportunity is exploring the west rim of Endeavour Crater. The rover is continuing south along the ridgeline that forms the spine of the crater rim, collecting color imagery of targets and outcrops along the way.

With ample energy, Opportunity has been able to conduct some late-night activities. On Sol 3697 (June 18, 2014), the rover collected an atmospheric argon measurement with the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS), and took advantage of a Phobos moon imaging opportunity. On Sol 3698 (June 19, 2014), the rover proceeded just over 82 feet (25 meters) to the south with another Phobos imagining opportunity that night, and an argon measurement on the next night. Sol 3700 (June 21, 2014), was the first sol of a 2-sol 'touch 'n go' with the collection of a Microscopic Imager (MI) mosaic and subsequent APXS measurement on a surface target of opportunity. The rover then drove on the next sol, heading 42 feet (13.5) meters south.

On Sol 3703 (June 24, 2014), Opportunity began an approach to a surface target with a 31 feet (9.4-meter) move. Also, the project continues with the spacecraft clock correction, moving the clock about 3 seconds back each sol. There have been no Flash-related anomalies and the rover continues in good health.

As of Sol 3703 (June 24, 2014), the solar array energy production was 743 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.652 and a solar array dust factor of 0.894.

Total odometry is 24.60 miles (39.59 kilometers).




sols 3691-3696, June 12, 2014-June 17, 2014: Imaging Mars' Moon Phobos

Opportunity is exploring the west rim of Endeavour Crater. On Sol 3691 (June 12, 2014), the rover continued south along the ridgeline of the crater rim, completing a 66-feet (20-meter) drive.

On the evening of Sol 3693 (June 14, 2014), a Flash memory amnesia event (where Flash memory fails to mount after a wake up) occurred. There were no impacts to operations and no loss of science data. On Sol 3696 (June 17, 2014), Opportunity continued the southward progress with a 115-feet (35-meter) drive. The rover is also documenting the current terrain with targeted multi-color Panoramic Camera (Pancam) images and Navigation Camera (Navcam) panoramas.

With abundant energy and the need to condition the batteries, Opportunity has been waking late at night and collecting atmospheric argon measurements with the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS). These late wake ups have also created opportunities to image Mars' moon Phobos. The martian moon along with its putative dust torus will be imaged on the evening of Sol 3697 (June 18, 2014). Wheel currents continue to be very well behaved. And, no Flash-induced resets have occurred in this reporting period.

As of Sol 3696 (June 17, 2014), the solar array energy production was 706 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.617 and a solar array dust factor of 0.864.

Total odometry is 24.57 miles (39.4 kilometers).




sols 3684-3690, June 04, 2014-June 11, 2014: Opportunity is exploring the west rim of Endeavour Crater

On Sol 3684 (June 4, 2014), Opportunity drove over 62 feet (19 meters) south along the ridgeline of the crater rim.

Over Sols 3686 to 3688 (June 6 to June 8, 2014), the plan was to perform a 'touch 'n go,' using the robotic arm on the first sol, then driving away on the second sol, but the rover experienced a warm reset induced by a write error in Flash memory. The rover was otherwise in good health, but left without a master sequence running. On Sol 3689 (June 10, 2014), the project restored the rover to normal sequence control and Opportunity completed a 69 feet (21-meter) drive.

As of Sol 3690 (June 11, 2014), the solar array energy production was 660 watt-hours with an increased atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.868 and a solar array dust factor of 0.924.

Total odometry is 24.53 miles (39.49 kilometers).




sols 3677-3683, May 28, 2014-June 04, 2014: Opportunity Recovering From Flash Memory Problems

Opportunity is exploring the west rim of Endeavour Crater. However, the rover experienced a set of reset events triggered by an error writing to flash memory.

On Sol 3677 (May 28, 2014), Opportunity had a nominal drive of just over 62 feet (19 meters). On the next sol, the rover moved 57 feet (17.4 meters) further, generally to the south, southeast. On Sol 3679 (May 30, 2014), Opportunity performed an in-situ (contact) science campaign as the first sol of a 'touch and go.' A touch and go is where the rover uses the robotic arm on the first sol of a multi-sol plan (the touch) and then drives on the next sol (the go). However, Opportunity experienced a warm reset on the second sol, Sol 3680 (May 31, 2014). The touch was successful, collecting a Microscopic Imager (MI) mosaic of the surface target, followed by an Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) measurement overnight, but the drive on the next sol never occurred because of the reset.

These warm resets have occurred in the past when an error occurs while writing to a specific area of flash (non-volatile) memory. The rover was restored to normal sequence operation on Sol 3682 (June 2, 2014), after the Sol 3680 reset. Another warm reset occurred on Sol 3683 (June 4, 2014), but the rover was restored to nominal operations the following sol.

As of Sol 3682, the solar array energy production was 733 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.682 and a solar array dust factor of 0.908.

Total odometry is 24.51 miles (39.44 kilometers).




sols 3672-3676, May 23, 2014-May 27, 2014: Rover Corrects its Spacecraft Clock

Opportunity is exploring south on the west rim of Endeavour Crater.

The rover is conducting an in-situ (contact) science campaign in the northern part of the region of aluminum/hydroxyl clay minerals seen from orbit.

Opportunity has been correcting her spacecraft clock by a few seconds each day (sol) to gradually offset the accumulated drift since the beginning of the mission.

On Sol 3673 (May 24, 2014), the rover continued a multi-sol Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) integration of the surface target, called 'Sarcobatus Flat.' On Sol 3674 (May 25, 2014), Opportunity repositioned the robotic arm to collect a Microscopic Imager (MI) mosaic of a clast, followed by the placement of the APXS on the clast.

A flash 'amnesia' event occurred on the night of Sol 3674 (May 25, 2014). All APXS data were recovered. On Sol 3676 (May 27, 2014), the rover once again repositioned the robotic arm to get the entire field of view (FOV) of the APXS on the clast target.

As of Sol 3676, the solar array energy production was 764 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.613 and a solar array dust factor of 0.942.

Total odometry is 24.49 miles (39.41 kilometers).




sols 3663-3671, May 14, 2014-May 22, 2014: Busy Week of Activities on Several Rock Targets

Opportunity is exploring south of 'Solander Point' on the west rim of Endeavour Crater.

The rover is conducting an in-situ (contact) science campaign in the region of aluminum/hydroxyl clay minerals seen from orbit. Because of ample energy levels, Opportunity collects an atmospheric argon with the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) on each evening when the rover wakes for battery conditioning and the robotic arm is not on a surface target, as it did on Sols 3663 and 3670 (May 14 and May 21, 2014).

On Sol 3664 (May 15, 2014), the rover began its surface campaign in this region with the collection of a Microscopic Imager (MI) mosaic and the placement of the APXS on the surface target, called 'Bristol Well,' a light-toned vein.

On Sols 3666 and 3667 (May 17 and 18, 2014), Opportunity repositioned the APXS each time in order to collect an offset measurement on the vein. On Sol 3669 (May 20, 2014), Opportunity bumped about 10 feet (2.9 meters) forward to reach a new surface target. On Sol 3671 (May 22, 2014), the rover began the investigation of the target, called 'Sarcobatus Flat,' with the collection of a MI mosaic and the placement of the APXS.

As of Sol 3671, the solar array energy production was 751 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.667 and a solar array dust factor of 0.955.

Total odometry is 24.49 miles (39.41 kilometers).




sols 3657-3662, May 08, 2014-May 13, 2014: Opportunity Explores Region of Aluminum Clay Minerals

Opportunity is exploring south of 'Solander Point' on the west rim of Endeavour Crater. The rover is exploring the region of aluminum-hydroxyl clay minerals seen from orbit.

On Sol 3657 (May 8, 2014), Opportunity collected a Microscopic Imager (MI) mosaic of the surface outcrop, called 'Ash Meadows,' then placed the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) for a multi-sol integration. On Sol 3659 (May 10, 2014), the rover drove just under 85 feet (26 meters) to the east, approaching a region of extended outcrop as a possible site for clay minerals. Also, Opportunity tested the new two-second spacecraft clock correction sequence. Over the next two sols, the rover collected an atmospheric argon measurement with the APXS and performed two more one-second-clock corrections.

On Sol 3662 (May 13, 2014), Opportunity bumped 7 feet (2 meters) forward to approach an exposed rock outcrop for further in-situ (contact) investigation.

As of Sol 3662, the solar array energy production was 761 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.621, and an improved solar array dust factor of 0.964. Perfectly clean solar arrays would have a dust factor of 1.0, so the larger the dust factor, the cleaner the arrays.

Total odometry is 24.49 miles (39.41 kilometers).




sols 3650-3656, May 01, 2014-May 07, 2014: Aluminum Bound

Opportunity is exploring south of 'Solander Point' on the west rim of Endeavour Crater. The rover is approaching a region of aluminum-hydroxyl clay minerals detected from orbit.

On Sol 3650 (May 1, 2014), Opportunity drove more than 312 feet (95 meters), first straight southward, then southwestward, heading for the clays. With the rover conveniently near a ripple crest, on Sol 3652 (May 3, 2014), it performed a touch-and-go activity with the robotic arm. The arm's microscopic imager (MI) acquired images for a mosaic, then its alpha particle X-ray spectrometer (APXS) was placed for an overnight integration. On the next sol, Opportunity drove more than 199 feet (60 meters) to the southwest into the region of putative clay minerals.

On Sol 3655 (May 6, 2014), the rover bumped about 18 feet (5.5 meters) to reach an exposed rock outcrop. Also on Sol 3655, Opportunity began the first step of a process to correct for spacecraft clock drift. The clock has drifted during the rover's decade on Mars, and this affects some subsystems. Only a one-second correction was done on this sol. The team intends to correct the clock slowly, by just a few seconds each sol, to eventually remove all of the clock drift over the course of a year.

On Sol 3656 (May 7, 2014), the APXS performed an atmospheric argon measurement.

Motor currents on the right-front wheel have been well behaved since resumption of backward driving. As of Sol 3656, solar-array energy production is 689 watt-hours, with a re-calibrated atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.607 and an improved solar-array dust factor of 0.916. Perfectly clean solar arrays would have a dust factor of 1.0, so the larger the dust factor, the cleaner the arrays.

Total odometry is 24.47 miles (39.38 kilometers).




sols 3645-3649, April 25, 2014-April 30, 2014: Reset and Recovery

Opportunity is exploring south of "Solander Point" on the west rim of Endeavour Crater. The rover is headed to a region of aluminum-hydroxyl clay minerals detected from orbit.

On Sol 3645 (April 25, 2014), Opportunity experienced a reset caused by write errors in flash (non-volatile) memory. As a result, the rover halted the sol's planned activities and waited for instructions from the ground. On Sol 3648 (April 29, 2014), the rover team sent commands to Opportunity to clear the fault conditions, to initialize both the high-gain antenna and the Pancam Mast Assembly, and to resume normal sequence control. Flash-induced resets have been seen three times before on Opportunity. Engineers are investigating the possible cause.

On Sol 3649 (April 30, 2014), the rover drove just over 230 feet (70 meters) southward. With backward driving, the rover's right-front wheel currents have returned to lower levels, compared to elevated currents experienced recently.

As of Sol 3649, solar-array energy production was 624 watt-hours, with an uncalibrated atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.293 and a solar-array dust factor of 0.832. Perfectly clean solar arrays would have a dust factor of 1.0, so the larger the dust factor, the cleaner the arrays.

Total odometry is 24.37 miles (39.22 kilometers).




sols 3636-3644, April 16, 2014-April 24, 2014: Rover Switches to Driving Backwards Due to Elevated Wheel Currents

Opportunity is exploring south of “Solander Point” on the west rim of Endeavour Crater.

The rover is headed to a region of clay minerals seen from orbit. Opportunity drove six times on Sols 3637, 3639, 3641, 3642, 3643 and 3644 (April 17, 19, 21, 22, 23 and April 24, 2014), totaling just over 656 feet (200 meters). Elevated motor currents have been seen in the right-front wheel. So in addition to extra actuator heating, the rover has switched to driving backwards again. The project is continuing to investigate mitigation strategies for the elevated wheel current.

On Sol 3639 (April 19, 2014), Opportunity passed another milestone of 24 miles (39 kilometers) of total odometry.

As of Sol 3643 (April 23, 2014), the solar array energy production was 658 watt-hours with an un-calibrated atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.273 and a solar array dust factor of 0.817.

Total odometry is 24.32 miles (39.14 kilometers).




sols 3630-3635, April 10, 2014-April 15, 2014: Driving Up To Crater Rim

Opportunity is exploring 'Murray Ridge,' part of the west rim of Endeavour Crater.

The near-term plan is to drive up to the crater rim's ridgeline and image the interior of Endeavour. On Sol 3630 (April 10, 204), Opportunity moved 28 feet (8.6 meters) to a local highpoint to catch a dramatic sweeping view into the crater. Over the next few sols, the rover collected a large Panoramic Camera (Pancam) panorama. Because the right-front wheel currents have persistently elevated, the project is also performing conditioning heating of the right-front drive actuator, while the rover is stationary to image the crater.

On Sol 3635 (April 15, 2014), the rover moved about 66 feet (20 meters) further south to complete the view into the crater and make progress towards the clay minerals still several hundred feet (meters) away.

As of Sol 3635 (April 15, 2014), the solar array energy production was 622 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.413 and a solar array dust factor of 0.831.

Total odometry is 24.20 miles (38.94 kilometers).




sols 3622-3629, April 02, 2014-April 09, 2014: Getting in Place for a Better View of 'Endeavour Crater'

Opportunity is exploring 'Murray Ridge,' part of the west rim of Endeavour Crater.

On Sol 3623 (April 3, 2014), the rover moved about 52 feet (16 meters) in a clockwise arc around some obstacles in an approach to a large rock outcrop. Moving closer to the outcrop would be difficult, so it was decided to document the outcrop with imagery and then back away and resume the path south.

On Sol 3625 (April 5, 2014), Opportunity retraced some of her path with a 28 feet (8.6 meter) drive to the northwest, collecting documentary images of the rock target 'Hoonah,' and imaging her tracks for engineering evaluation purposes. On Sol 3628 (April 8, 2014), the rover drove about 69 feet (21 meters) to the south in an approach to a local ridge top, a vantage point that offers a view with an entire sweep of Endeavour Crater. Once there, the plan is to collect a spectacular color panorama of Endeavour.

As of Sol 3628 (April 8, 2014), the solar array energy production was 642 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.423 and a solar array dust factor of 0.843.

Total odometry is 24.18 miles (38.91 kilometers).




sols 3617-3621, March 28, 2014-April 01, 2014: Further Southwest on 'Murray Ridge'

Opportunity is exploring 'Murray Ridge,' part of the west rim of Endeavour Crater.

On Sol 3617 (March 28, 2014), the rover continued further to the southwest on Murray Ridge with a 68-foot (20.8-meter) drive. After two sols of remote sensing over the weekend, Opportunity drove again on Sol 3621 (April 1, 2014), with a 144-foot (44-meter) drive that included some mid-drive imaging of an exposed rock outcrop.

As of Sol 3621 (April 1, 2014), the solar array energy production was 661 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.433 and a solar array dust factor of 0.868.

Total odometry is 24.15 miles (38.87 kilometers).




sols 3603-3609, March 13, 2014-March 19, 2014: Helpful Wind Cleans Solar Panels

Opportunity is exploring 'Murray Ridge' on Solander Point, part of the rim of Endeavour Crater.

The rover continues to investigate the region called 'Cook Haven.' On Sol 3603 (March 13, 2014), Opportunity completed the in-situ (contact) analysis of a target called 'Augustine' with a Microscopic Imager (MI) mosaic and a placement of the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) on the same. On the next two Sols, the rover conducted remote sensing with the collection of Navigation Camera (Navcam) and Panoramic Camera (Pancam) images and a measurement of atmospheric argon with the APXS. Atmospheric opacity (tau) measurements using the Navcam were performed in support of the InSIght mission. On Sol 3607 (March 17, 2014) a short bump was planned to approach a target rock, called 'Sugarloaf.' However, the drive stopped after just 2.3 meters (7.55 feet) due to the rover sensing higher average current in three of the rover wheels. This was a safety check to detect possible embedding events. Although the rover did experience as much as 50% slip, there was no risk of embedding, just a steep upward climb. Given the difficult terrain, the approach to Sugarloaf would require multiple additional drives to be able to use the robotic arm on the rock surface. So, the science team chose to document Sugarloaf with more color imagery and to drive further south and west to new targets. On Sol 3609 (March 19, 2014), Opportunity drove about 16.35 meters (53.64 feet) to the southwest. The rover experienced a solar panel dust cleaning event between Sols 3605 and 3606 (March 15 and March 16, 2014). This resulted in about a 10% improvement in power production.

As of Sol 3609, the solar array energy production was 574 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.450 and an improved solar array dust factor of 0.777.

Total odometry is 24.10 miles (38.79 kilometers)




sols 3596-3602, March 06, 2014-March 12, 2014: The Exploration of Murray Ridge Continues

Opportunity continues to explore 'Murray Ridge' on Solander Point, part of the rim of Endeavour Crater.

On Sol 3596 (March 6, 2014), the rover moved forward to put a rock called 'Turnagain Arm,' within reach of the robotic arm. That evening, there was enough power to allow Opportunity to perform a full overnight Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer Argon integration. On Sol 3958 (March 8, 2014) activities included a Rock Abrasion Tool (RAT) brush, a Microscopic Imager mosaic, and placement of the APXS on Turnagain Arm followed by two evenings of APXS integrations.

Opportunity then proceeded toward a new rock target called 'Augustine,' on Sol 3600 (March 10, 2014). However, due to a high tilt and considerable slip from being on a slope, two subsequent 'bumps' on Sols 3601 and 3602 (March 11 and March 12, 2014), were needed to get close enough to examine Augustine.

As of Sol 3602 (March 12, 2014), the solar array energy production was 498 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.446 and a solar array dust factor of 0.694.

Total odometry is 24.09 miles (38.76 kilometers)




sols 3589-3595, Feb. 27, 2014-March 05, 2014: Investigating 'Cook Haven'

Opportunity is exploring 'Murray Ridge' on Solander Point, part of the rim of Endeavour Crater.

The rover continues to investigate the region called 'Cook Haven.' On Sol 3589 (Feb. 27, 2014), the rover drove 19 feet (5.73 meters). The first objective of the drive was to break the rock target 'Stuart Island' with the rover wheels and image the results. That was successful. The other objective was to drive toward a new target area called, 'Cross Sound' and position the rover for some in-situ (contact) investigations.

On Sol 3591 (March 1, 2014), the rover turned-in-place in order to face the intended surface targets. This was followed by documentary Panoramic Camera (Pancam) and Navigation Camera (Navcam) mosaics. On the next sol, Opportunity collected a set of Navcam atmospheric opacity (tau) measurements for the InSight project. That evening, the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) performed an atmospheric argon measurement. On Sol 3594 (March 4, 2014), the rover bumped forward 34 inches (86 centimeters) to reach the surface targets for subsequence investigation.

As of Sol 3595 (March 5, 2014), the solar array energy production was 492 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.451 and an improved solar array dust factor of 0.699.

Total odometry is 24.08 miles (38.75 kilometers).




sols 3581-3588, Feb. 19, 2014-Feb. 26, 2014: Crushing Rocks With Wheels

Opportunity is exploring "Murray Ridge" on Solander Point, part of the rim of Endeavour Crater.

Investigation continued on "Anchor Point," Sol 3581 (Feb. 19, 2014) through Sol 3583 (Feb. 21, 2014), with Microscopic Imager (MI) and Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) on two soil locations.

On Sol 3585 (Feb. 23, 2014), the rover was driven to place its right front wheel on the rock "Sledge Island," then while the other wheels were kept stationary, that wheel was driven forward a quarter turn, then backwards a quarter turn. That was done three times and then the rover moved to see what it had accomplished. Sledge Island was indeed crushed, and parts of it were in the Instrument Deployment Device (IDD) work volume. The team generated a Microscopic Imager mosaic and placed the APXS on it Sol 3587 (Feb. 25, 2014). The subsequent integration appears to have been successful. This should largely wrap-up the work at the current location, though the team will attempt to crack "Stuart Island" under the wheel as the rover drives away.

As of Sol 3588 (Feb. 26, 2014), the solar array energy production was 464 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.498 and a solar array dust factor of 0.691.

Total odometry is 24.07 miles (38.74 kilometers).




sols 3576-3580, Feb. 13, 2014-Feb. 18, 2014: Exploration of 'Murray Ridge'

Opportunity is exploring 'Murray Ridge' on Solander Point, part of the rim of Endeavour Crater.

The rover continues to investigate the region called 'Cook Haven.' On Sol 3576 (Feb. 13, 2014), the rover completed the in-situ (contact) investigation of the rock target, called 'Stuart Island' with another Microscopic Imager (MI) mosaic and a placement of the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) on a fourth location on the rock.

Then, on Sol 3578 (Feb. 15, 2014), Opportunity bumped just over a meter to reach a new target, called 'Anchor Point.' In the process, the rover collected some mid-drive imaging with the Panoramic Camera (Pancam) and attempted to crush the rock, named 'Sledge Island.' On Sol 3579 (Feb. 16, 2014), an atmospheric argon measurement with the APXS was sequenced and new atmospheric opacity measurements with the Navigation Camera (Navcam) were performed to assist the InSIGHT mission. The plan ahead is for in-situ investigation of 'Anchor Point' and associated targets.

As of Sol 3580 (Feb. 18, 2014), the solar array energy production was 409 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.480 and a solar array dust factor of 0.614.

Total odometry is 24.07 miles (38.74 kilometers).




sols 3568-3575, Feb. 05, 2014-Feb. 12, 2014: Busy Week of Imaging and Robotic Arm Studies

Opportunity is climbing 'Murray Ridge' up on Solander Point, part of the rim of Endeavour Crater.

The rover continues to explore the region called 'Cook Haven.' The rover has turned its attention to other rocks within this area. On Sol 3568 (Feb. 5, 2014), Opportunity lifted her robotic arm so 13-filter Panoramic Camera (Pancam) images of the surface target, called 'Green Island' could be collected, along with some Navigation (Navcam) images. On the next sol, the rover used the Rock Abrasion Tool (RAT) to brush a spot on Green Island and followed that with a Microscopic Imager (MI) mosaic and a placement of the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS).

On Sol 3571 (Feb. 8, 2014), the rover collected a 13-filter Pancam image of the brushed spot on Green Island before bumping about 9.8 feet (3 meters) to a new rock target, called 'Stuart Island.' Opportunity began the in-situ (contact) investigation of Stuart Island on Sol 3573 (Feb. 10, 2014), with a MI mosaic and APXS placement for an overnight integration. The rover repeated this again on the next sol with more MI mosaics, but with an offset placement of the APXS. Continuing the campaign on Sol 3575 (Feb. 12, 2014), Opportunity collected more MI mosaics and performed a third offset of the APXS.

As of Sol 3575 (Feb. 12, 2014), the solar array energy production was 387 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.548 and a solar array dust factor of 0.610.

Total odometry is 24.07 miles (38.74 kilometers).




sols 3554-3560, Jan. 22, 2014-Jan. 28, 2014: Work on Mystery Rock Continues As Rover Marks 10 Years on Mars

Opportunity is up on 'Solander Point' at the rim of Endeavour Crater. The rover is continuing to investigate this curious surface rock, called 'Pinnacle Island' that apparently was kicked up by the rover during a recent traverse.

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/.

On Sol 3554 (Jan. 22, 2014), with a difficult robotic arm wrist motion preventing a simple target offset, Opportunity instead lifted the robotic arm out of the way for a 13-filter Panoramic Camera (Pancam) image of the target Pinnacle Island, then placed the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) back down on the same location.

On Sol 3555 (Jan. 23, 2014), the rover attempted a very small turn-in-place of only 1.4 degrees to reach a new location on the target. The initial wheel motion achieved sufficient turn magnitude, but the wheel straightening undid that motion so the target position was not reached. This was not surprising since very small motions are very difficult to achieve with the rover. On Sol 3557 (Jan. 25 2014), this motion was attempted again, but this time a 'tank turn' was used and achieved the necessary result. The rover continued with 13-filter Pancam imagery and an APXS atmospheric argon measurement. On Sol 3560 (Jan. 28, 2014), the robotic arm collected a Microscopic Imager (MI) mosaic of the new location on Pinnacle Island, followed by the placement of the APXS on the same.

As of Sol 3560 (Jan. 28, 2014), the solar array energy production was 361 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.572 and a solar array dust factor of 0.590.

Total odometry is 24.07 miles (38.73 kilometers).




sols 3548-3553, Jan. 16, 2014-Jan. 21, 2014: Celebrating 10-Years on Mars!

Opportunity is up on 'Solander Point' at the rim of Endeavour Crater. Opportunity is positioned on the edge of an exposed outcrop where orbital observations suggest the possible presence of small amounts of clay minerals.

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/.

The rover is continuing to investigate this curious surface rock, called 'Pinnacle Island' that apparently was kicked up by the rover during a recent traverse. On Sol 3548 (Jan. 16, 2014), Opportunity repositioned the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) on Pinnacle Island for an overnight integration, documenting the placement with a Microscopic Imager (MI) finder frame. On Sol 3551 (Jan. 19, 2014), the rover again repositioned the APXS on Pinnacle Island for a multi-sol integration, documenting the new placement with a Microscopic Image finder frame and front Hazards Avoidance Camera (Hazcam) images.

As of Sol 3553 (Jan. 21, 2014), the solar array energy production was 361 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.595 and a solar array dust factor of 0.594.

Total odometry is 24.07 miles (38.73 kilometers).




sols 3541-3547, Jan. 08, 2014-Jan. 15, 2014: Encountering a Surprise

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).




sols 3535-3540, Jan. 02, 2014-Jan. 07, 2014: Ten-Year Anniversary Nears

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/.

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

The rover 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.

On Sol 3535 (Jan. 2, 2014) Opportunity finished up work on an offset target 'Cape Darby 2,' performing Microscopic Imaging (MI) and Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) placement. The rover then bumped to a new target 'Cape Elizabeth' on Sol 3540 (Jan. 7, 2014). In the meantime she took a few anniversary inspired images of herself and her tracks.

As of Sol 3540 (Jan. 7, 2014), the solar array energy production has improved to 360 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.563 and a solar array dust factor of 0.555.

Total odometry is 24.07 miles (38.73 kilometers).




sols 3520-3534, Dec. 18, 2013-Jan. 01, 2014: Clues from Orbit Aiding Exploration

The rover is maintaining favorable northerly tilts for 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's activities have been relatively uncomplicated over the holiday period. On Sol 3521 (Dec. 19, 2013), the robotic arm was used to collect a Microscopic Imager (MI) mosaic, followed by an Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) placement for multiple sols of collecting information about composition. A similar activity using both instruments was performed on Sol 3530 (Dec. 28, 2013). An outage at an antenna station of the Deep Space Network prevented uplink of a remote sensing plan, but that plan was recovered in subsequent sols.

Some small but welcome dust-cleaning events occurred during sols 3533 and 3534 (Dec. 31, 2013, and Jan. 1, 2014). As of Sol 3534, solar-array energy production improved to 371 watt-hours, with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.569 and an improved solar array dust factor of 0.566. Just prior to these cleaning events, solar-array output per sol was about 35 watt-hours lower, and the dust factor was about 0.50. Perfectly clean solar arrays would have a dust factor of 1.0, so the larger the dust factor, the cleaner the arrays.

Total odometry is 24.07 miles (38.73 kilometers).


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