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Opportunity Rover Update
Opportunity Rover Update
4 Dec 2006
(Source: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

- sol 1002-1015, December 04, 2006:

Opportunity is healthy and making progress imaging "Victoria Crater." Sol 1002 began with a short drive to the edge of "Cape St. Mary" in order to take better images of the northeast side of "Cape Verde."

On Sols 1005 and 1006 (Nov. 21 and 22, 2006), Opportunity participated in efforts to recover communications with NASA's Mars Global Surveyor orbiter, which had not communicated with Earth for more than two weeks at that point. Mars Global Surveyor was sent a command in the blind to try to communicate with Opportunity via their UHF radios on each of these two sols. Alas, Opportunity never received any signal from the orbiter on either attempt.

On Sol 1009, Opportunity departed Cape St. Mary and headed toward a point overlooking "Bottomless Bay" (Bahia sin Fondo) more than 100 meters (328 feet) away. Drives on sols 1009, 1012 and 1014 added about 80 meters (262 feet) in the direction of Bottomless Bay.

On Sol 1013, Opportunity added to the rapidly growing list of simultaneous, multi-spacecraft science observations with a coordinated overflight by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter of the area around Opportunity. At a predetermined time, that orbiter's remote sensing instruments took measurements in the vicinity of Opportunity while Opportunity took "ground truth" measurements of the atmosphere and ground.

Sol 1014's drive included the first step in a series of checkouts of the rover's new "D-star" drive capability. This was added to create a more capable autonomous navigation system. The benefits include better hazard-avoidance capability, less user intervention and longer hazard-avoidance traverses per sol.

Sol-by-sol summaries:

Sol 1002 (Nov. 18, 2006): The rover drove 1.04 meters (3.41 feet), then conducted remote sensing of Cape Verde.

Sol 1003: Opportunity conducted untargeted remote sensing.

Sol 1004: Opportunity conducted untargeted remote sensing.

Sol 1005: The rover used its panoramic camera to collect images for a mosaic of Cape Verde. This was the first sol during which Opportunity attempted to hear from Mars Global Surveyor.

Sol 1006: This sol was the second attempt to use Opportunity to receive a signal from Mars Global Surveyor. The rover also did targeted remote sensing.

Sol 1007: Opportunity conducted targeted remote sensing.

Sol 1008: Opportunity conducted untargeted remote sensing.

Sol 1009: The rover drove 43.7 meters (143.4 feet) away from Cape St. Mary toward Bottomless Bay.

Sol 1010: Opportunity conducted untargeted remote sensing.

Sol 1011: Opportunity conducted untargeted remote sensing.

Sol 1012: The rover drove 14.5 meters (48 feet) toward Bottomless Bay.

Sol 1013: The rover conducted remote sensing and did coordinated science observations with the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.

Sol 1014: Opportunity drove about 22 meters (72 feet) toward Bottomless Bay. The new "D-star" driving software was tested.

Sol 1015 (Dec. 1, 2006): Opportunity did untargeted remote science.

After the drive on sol 1014, Opportunity's total odometery is 9,555 meters (5.94 miles).

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Last Updated: 4 Dec 2006