Opportunity Rover Update
11 Dec 2006
- sol 1016-1021, December 07, 2006:
Opportunity is healthy and wrapping up imaging of "Bottomless Bay" (Bahia sin Fondo) at "Victoria Crater."
On Sol 1016, Opportunity arrived at Bottomless Bay and began making science observations. Opportunity also performed step one of a series of checkouts of its new capability for more autonomous assessment of where it is safe to place its robotic arm. This test did not involve any arm motion.
On Sol 1018, the alpha particle X-ray spectrometer measured the atmosphere's argon density. While pointed at the atmosphere, the instrument was turned on and left integrating for almost three hours. With the temperature and argon density in hand, scientists can calculate what percentage of the atmosphere at the rover site is argon. By doing measurements of this nature, scientists can get a better understanding of how atmospheric gases mix between the poles and the equator.
On Sols 1019, 1020 and 1021 Opportunity was busy completing photography of Bottomless Bay.
Daily, Opportunity completes science observations that include: tau (atmospheric clarity) measurements with the panoramic camera, cloud searches with the navigation camera, and stares at the sky and ground with the miniature thermal emission spectrometer.
Sol 1016 (Dec. 2, 2006): Opportunity drove for two hours, adding 30 meters (98 feet) onto its drive toward Bottomless Bay. The rover then took a navigation camera mosaic in the drive direction and completed step one of checking the capability for autonomous placement of the robotic arm.
Sol 1017: Opportunity used part of this sol to conduct the daily science observations and then used the rest of the sol to recharge.
Sol 1018: The rover examined the ground in front of it with the panoramic camera and the miniature thermal emission spectrometer. Those instruments were also used to monitor dust accumulation on the solar panels. The alpha particle X-ray spectrometer began a 2.5-hour argon density measurement.
Sol 1019: The panoramic camera took images for the first half of a stereo mosaic of Bottomless Bay. Opportunity then turned so it would be in a better position for communication.
Sol 1020: Opportunity used part of this sol to conduct the daily science observations and then used the rest of the sol to recharge.
Sol 1021 (Dec. 7, 2006): The rover took a 2-meter (6.6 feet) drive along Bottomless Bay and the panoramic camera took the second half of the stereo mosaic of Bottomless Bay.
As of sol 1016's drive, Opportunity's total odometry is 9,584.69 meters (6 miles)!