19 Sep 2012
OPPORTUNITY UPDATE: ROBOTIC ARM TOOLS GET TO WORK -- sols 3071-3076, Sept. 13, 2012-Sept. 18, 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.
The rover is positioned next to a large light-toned block of exposed outcrop. Previous Panoramic Camera (Pancam) imagery indicates mineral hydration in this block. On 3071 (Sept. 13, 2012), Opportunity performed a very small turn-in-place to position a high-valued target within reach of the robotic arm. Then on Sol 3073 (Sept. 15, 2012), the rover collected a Microscopic Imager (MI) mosaic of the surface target "Azilda," followed by the placement of the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) on the same for a multi-sol integration. On Sol 3076 (Sept. 18, 2012), Opportunity used the Rock Abrasion Tool (RAT) to brush the same target and then used the Microscopic Imager to collect another mosaic, followed again by another placement of the APXS.
As of Sol 3076 (Sept. 18, 2012), the solar array energy production was 564 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.560 and a solar array dust factor of 0.648.
Total odometry is 21.78 miles (35,047.47 meters).