12 Sep 2012
OPPORTUNITY UPDATE: ROBOTIC ARM GOES TO WORK -- sols 3064-3070, Sept. 6, 2012-Sept. 12, 2012:
Opportunity is continuing the in-situ (contact) science campaign at a putative location of clay minerals at the inboard edge of Cape York on the rim of Endeavour Crater.
On Sol 3064 (Sept. 6, 2012), the rover collected a Microscopic Imager (MI) mosaic of the target outcrop Kirkwood, followed by the placement of the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) for integration. On Sol 3066 (Sept. 8, 2012), the rover experienced an X-band fault as Earth was below the deck of the rover. Due to seasonal geometry, time of day and rover tilt, there was a known risk that Earth might be too low on the horizon for the high-gain antenna to track. A small error in the rover's tilt knowledge resulted in the track of the Earth dropping too low at the end of the X-band pass. The rover sequences transmitted during that pass were successfully received by the rover and executed as planned. The X-band fault was cleared by real-time commands sent later on Sol 3069 (Sept. 11, 2012).
On Sol 3066 (Sept. 8, 2012), Opportunity raised her robotic arm for a clear camera shot of the targets in front of the rover. Then on the next sol, the rover performed a brushing with the Rock Abrasion Tool (RAT). This was followed with another MI mosaic and then the placement of the APXS on the brushed surface.
On Sol 3070 (Sept. 12, 2012), the rover then performed a 3-sided drive around the exposed fin-like outcrop to reach light-toned blocky outcrop for further in-situ investigation for putative clay minerals.
As of Sol 3070 (Sept. 12, 2012), the solar array energy production was 569 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.689 and a solar array dust factor of 0.672.
Total odometry is 21.78 miles (35,047.47 meters).