Opportunity Rover Update
17 Oct 2006
Opportunity is healthy and perched at the tip of the promontory "Cape Verde," 3.1 meters (10.2 feet) from the edge of a sharp drop off on the rim of "Victoria Crater." Soon after arriving at Victoria Crater's "Duck Bay" last week, Opportunity was sent on its way to Cape Verde. Six sols, four drives and 127.61 meters (419 feet) later, Opportunity arrived at the rock target "Fogo" near the tip of Cape Verde.
Along the way, Opportunity made remote-sensing observations including a panorama from Duck Bay, imagery of Cape Verde and atmospheric science.
On Sol 957 (Oct. 3, 2006) Opportunity performed a coordinated observation with NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO). MRO imagery included a picture of Opportunity itself! The image was taken with MRO's HiRISE (High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment) camera, the highest-resolution camera ever to orbit Mars.
Sol 954 (Sept. 30, 2006): The navigation camera had a look at the skies, searching for clouds. The panoramic camera gauged atmospheric clarity (a "tau" measurement). The panoramic camera was then used to take a mosaic image of "Duck Bay 2." The miniature thermal emission spectrometer was put to work to scan the target "Cape Verde Maio". The afternoon included another panoramic camera tau measurement.
Sol 955: The morning of this sol saw the panoramic camera imaging target Cape Verde Maio. The rover also assessed the clarity of the atmosphere. The robotic arm was then stowed and the rover drove 55.71 meters (183 feet) toward Cape Verde. After the drive, the rover took images with its hazard avoidance cameras, panoramic camera and navigation camera, and unstowed its arm.
Sol 956: In the morning, Opportunity used its panoramic camera to survey the sky. A measurement of atmospheric clarity was taken by the panoramic camera, and the navigation camera spied for clouds. More remote sensing was conducted before the Mars Odyssey communication window. During that window, the rover examined points in the sky and on the ground with its miniature thermal emission spectrometer.
Sol 957: The rover was busy this morning, using its navigation and panoramic cameras to survey the sky. The miniature thermal emission spectrometer was also used to scan the sky and ground. Opportunity assessed the clarity of the atmosphere with a tau measurement and then stowed its robotic arm. The rover drove 42.17 meters (138 feet) toward Cape Verde, took hazard avoidance camera images, then unstowed its arm and took navigation and panoramic camera images. A tau measurement was taken with the panoramic camera before an overflight by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. In coordination with observations by that orbiter, Opportunity's cameras were busy imaging and the miniature thermal emission spectrometer assessed the sky and ground. To end the sol, the panoramic camera made another tau measurement.
Sol 958: The rover monitored its dust level this morning and looked for clouds with its navigation camera. The miniature thermal emission spectrometer was then used to assess the sky and ground. A tau measurement was taken and then a 23.01 meter (75.5 feet) drive commenced, toward Cape Verde. The rover then did post-drive imaging. In coordination with observations by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, Opportunity took another tau measurement and did albedo measurements.
Sol 959: On this sol, Opportunity began the day by scanning for clouds with its navigation camera and taking thumbnail images with its panoramic camera. A panoramic camera tau measurement was taken and then the rover drove 6.72 meters (22 feet) to the target Fogo at Cape Verde. Post-drive imaging was done and a tau measurement taken. During the communication window with Mars Odyssey, the miniature thermal emission spectrometer observed the sky and ground.
Sol 960 (Oct. 6, 2006): In the morning of this sol, the navigation camera looked for clouds and the miniature thermal emission spectrometer observed the sky and ground. Opportunity then took a tau measurement and used the miniature thermal emission spectrometer to assess dunes, the sky and the ground. Another panoramic camera tau measurement was taken. During the communication window with Mars Odyssey, the miniature thermal emission spectrometer was used again to assess the dunes.
As of sol 959 (Oct. 5, 2006), Opportunity's total odometery was 9,406.95 meters (5.85 miles).