National Aeronautics and Space Administration Logo
Follow this link to skip to the main content NASA Banner
Solar System Exploration
News & Events
Opportunity Update
Opportunity Update
28 Mar 2013
(Source: NASA / JPL)

Opportunity rover traverse map from sol 3257.
Opportunity rover traverse map from sol 3257.

OPPORTUNITY UPDATE: Opportunity Moves Into Place for Quiet Period of Operations -- sols 3255-3260, March 21, 2013-March 26, 2013: Opportunity has moved into position for the coming three-week solar conjunction period at "Cape York" on the rim of Endeavour Crater.

This location, called "Big Nickel," is the last in-situ (contact) target before the rover departs from Cape York, once solar conjunction is concluded.

Solar conjunction is when the Sun comes between Earth and Mars, which occurs about once every 26 months. During this time there will be diminished communications to Opportunity. The team will suspend sending the rover new commands between April 9 and April 26. The rover will continue science activities using a long-term set of commands to be sent beforehand. No new images are expected to be returned during this time.

On Sol 3255 (March 21, 2013), after completing the investigation of the "Newberries" at the location called "Kirkwood," Opportunity drove over 82 feet (25 meters) straight north toward the location called "Big Nickel." On Sol 3257 (March 23, 2013), the rover completed the approach to "Big Nickel" with a 13-foot (4-meter) drive. In order to reach a specific surface target, Opportunity performed a modest, 0.8 inch (2-centimeter) bump on Sol 3260 (March 26, 2013).

With the rover precisely positioned, the plan ahead is to sequence the robotic arm to collect a Microscopic Imager (MI) mosaic of the target, called "Esperance" and place the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) for an overnight integration.

On Sols 3255, 3256 and 3257 (March 21, 22 and 23, 2013), Opportunity benefitted from some dust cleaning of the solar arrays, improving energy production.

As of Sol 3260 (March 26, 2013), the solar array energy production was 590 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.760 and an improved solar array dust factor of 0.654.

Total odometry is 22.15 miles (35.65 kilometers).

News Archive Search  Go!
Show  results per page
 
 
Awards and Recognition   Solar System Exploration Roadmap   Contact Us   Site Map   Print This Page
NASA Official: Kristen Erickson
Advisory: Dr. James Green, Director of Planetary Science
Outreach Manager: Alice Wessen
Curator/Editor: Phil Davis
Science Writer: Autumn Burdick
Producer: Greg Baerg
Webmaster: David Martin
> NASA Science Mission Directorate
> Budgets, Strategic Plans and Accountability Reports
> Equal Employment Opportunity Data
   Posted Pursuant to the No Fear Act
> Information-Dissemination Policies and Inventories
> Freedom of Information Act
> Privacy Policy & Important Notices
> Inspector General Hotline
> Office of the Inspector General
> NASA Communications Policy
> USA.gov
> ExpectMore.gov
> NASA Advisory Council
> Open Government at NASA
Last Updated: 19 Sep 2013