3 Oct 2012
OPPORTUNITY UPDATE: THE HUNT FOR CLAY MINERALS CONTINUES -- sols 3085-3090, Sept. 27, 2012-Oct. 2, 2012:
Opportunity is conducting an 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, called "Whitewater Lake." Opportunity completed the first in-situ science target, called "Azilda" on the outcrop. On Sol 3085 (Sept. 27, 2012), the rover continued grinding with the Rock Abrasion Tool (RAT) deeper into the target Azilda2 after a previous sol's grind. Then, after completing the grind, a Microscopic Imager (MI) mosaic was collected followed by an Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) placement for a spectral integration. Later on Sol 3087 (Sept. 29, 2012), the RAT brush was used to sweep clean the grind hole in Azilda2, and then image it with the MI and followed by another APXS placement.
With the in-situ work on Azilda now complete, Opportunity performed a 8 feet (2.5-meter) bump back and forth to position the rover at a new target on Whitewater Lake. Here the plan is to reach some of the dark rinds that cover the outcrop.
As of Sol 3090 (Oct. 2, 2012), the solar array energy production was 551 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.608 and a solar array dust factor of 0.634.
Total odometry is 21.78 miles (35,050.06 meters).