Opportunity Rover Update
16 Jan 2007
- sol 1049-1056, January 12, 2007:
After wrapping up scientific studies of a rock called "Santa Catarina" on the rim of "Victoria Crater," Opportunity determined, based on analysis of the iron content, that the rock is probably a meteorite. Nearby cobbles appear to have similar composition, based on data from the M??ssbauer spectrometer, panoramic camera, and miniature thermal emission spectrometer. Opportunity's itinerary will now take the rover in a northeasterly direction toward the crater's edge for a better look at the west face of "Cape Desire," on the other side of the "Bay of Toil."
On the morning of Opportunity's 1,048th sol, or Martian day, the rover entered auto mode, meaning that, in order to protect itself from a sequencing error, the rover cancelled all scheduled activities. Rover planners re-established control of all operating sequences on sol 1049 (Jan. 5, 2007).
Also on sol 1049, Opportunity performed additional diagnostic tests of the grinding motor that operates the rock abrasion tool. All signs point to a failed encoder. Rover handlers must now invent a new strategy for using the brush and grinder that does not rely on the encoder to sense when the device comes into contact with a rock surface. Team members anticipate they will be able to use the rock abrasion tool again in a few weeks.
In addition to daily observations that included measuring atmospheric dust with the panoramic camera, searching for clouds with the navigation camera, surveying the sky and ground with the miniature thermal emission spectrometer, and imaging the sky with the panoramic camera, Opportunity completed the following activities:
Sol 1049 (Jan. 5, 2007): Opportunity conducted diagnostic tests of the rock abrasion tool, studied Santa Catarina using the M??ssbauer spectrometer, acquired full-color, 13-filter panoramic images of cobbles known as "Ibirama" and "Xaxim," and studied a blue cobble known as "Igreja" using the miniature thermal emission spectrometer.
Sol 1050: Opportunity acquired full-color panoramic camera images of cobbles known as "Lajes" and "Pelotas," studied Lajes with the miniature thermal emission spectrometer, took images of Lajes with the navigation camera, and analyzed Santa Catarina with the M??ssbauer spectrometer.
Sol 1051: Opportunity acquired panoramic camera images of the area where the rover is scheduled to drive, acquired data from a cobble known as "Mafra" using the miniature thermal emission spectrometer, and collected additional data about Santa Catarina with the M??ssbauer spectrometer.
Sol 1052: Using all 13 filters of the panoramic camera, Opportunity acquired images of Mafra and a cobble nicknamed "Peixe," scanned the sky and ground with the miniature thermal emission spectrometer, and continued to analyze Santa Catarina using the M??ssbauer spectrometer.
Sol 1053: Opportunity acquired full-color images using all 13 filters of the panoramic camera of cobbles known as "Videira" and "Chapeco," scanned Videira and the background behind it using the miniature thermal emission spectrometer, and conducted analysis of Santa Catarina using the M??ssbauer spectrometer.
Sol 1054: Opportunity monitored dust accumulation on the rover's mast, surveyed the sky with the sun low on the horizon using the panoramic camera, and surveyed the sky and ground with the miniature thermal emission spectrometer.
Sol 1055: Plans called for Opportunity to back up and acquire panoramic camera images of Santa Catarina along with M??ssbauer spectrometer data, turn northeast and drive toward Bay of Toil, take stereo images using the navigation camera, and acquire panoramic mosaics using the panoramic camera for help in planning the next drive to the edge of Victoria Crater.
Sol 1056 (Jan. 12, 2007): Opportunity was scheduled to conduct a sky survey using the panoramic camera.
As of sol 1053 (Jan. 9, 2007), Opportunity's total odometry remained at 9,790 meters (6.1 miles).