3 Jul 2012
(Source: Jet Propulsion Laboratory)
OPPORTUNITY UPDATE: OPPORTUNITY USES ROBOTIC ARM TOOLS ON ROCK -- sols 2990-2996, June 21, 2012-June 28, 2012:
Opportunity continues to explore the north end of Cape York on the rim of Endeavour Crater, specifically the transition layer between Cape York and Meridiani Planum.
Mars Odyssey has returned to service and supported downlinks on both Sols 2995 and 2996 (June 27 and 28, 2012). Previously Ultra High Frequency relay for the rover had been limited to just two relay passes per week from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.
On Sol 2990 (June 21, 2012), in-situ measurements including the Microscopic Imager (MI) and Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) began on the rock target "Grasberg." On Sol 2992 (June 24, 2012), a slightly offset target, "Grasberg 2," was similarly analyzed. And finally, on sol 2995 (June 27, 2012), the original Grasberg target was brushed using the Rock Abrasion Tool in preparation for further MI and APXS analysis. Though no new cleaning events appear to have occurred, the rover continues to benefit from previous solar array dust cleaning events and a slightly improved tilt.
As of Sol 2995 (June 27, 2012), solar array energy production was 559 watt-hours with a lower atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.330 and an improved solar array dust factor of 0.698.
Total odometry is 21.43 miles (34,491.99 meters).