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Opportunity Update
Opportunity Update
21 Oct 2013
(Source: NASA/JPL)

OPPORTUNITY UPDATE: Maintaining Favorable Tilt for Sunshine - sols 3453-3459, Oct. 10, 2013-Oct. 16, 2013: Opportunity is ascending the northern edge of 'Solander Point' at the rim of Endeavour Crater.

The rover is maintaining favorable northerly tilts for improved energy production as winter approaches. On Sol 3453 (Oct. 10, 2013), the Opportunity rover performed color Panoramic Camera (Pancam) remote sensing and collected an atmospheric argon measurement with the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS).

After completing a few sols of remote sensing, the rover headed south on Sol 3457 (Oct. 14, 2013), ascending up Solander Point with a 77 feet (23.5-meter) drive heading towards an outcrop named 'Kangaroo Paw.'

On the next sol, Opportunity bumped towards the target outcrop with an 11 feet (3.5 meter) move. On the next sol, a bump of 24 inches (60 centimeters) was performed to put the surface science targets within reach of the rover's robotic arm.

As of Sol 3459 (Oct. 16, 2013), the solar array energy production was 334 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.685 and an approximate solar array dust factor of 0.527.

Total odometry is 23.89 miles (38.45 kilometers).


OPPORTUNITY UPDATE: Heading to a High Slope for Some Sunshine - sols 3445-3452, Oct. 02, 2013-Oct. 09, 2013: Opportunity is on the northern edge of 'Solander Point' at the rim of Endeavour Crater.

The rover is investigating the geologic contacts at the base of Solander Point. On Sol 3446 (Oct. 3, 2013), at the location of the surface target 'Callitris,' Opportunity began an extensive two-sol, stereo color panorama of the ridge along Solander Point.

Additional Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) integrations were collected on 'Callitris' on Sol 3448 (Oct. 5, 2013). On Sol 3452 (Oct. 9, 2013), with the ridge panorama complete and the work on Callitris done, the rover drove away to the southwest with a 64-feet (19.5-meter) drive heading toward a favorable energy (high-slope) 'lily pad.'

As of Sol 3452 (Oct. 9, 2013), the solar array energy production was 328 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.649 and a solar array dust factor of 0.508.

Total odometry is 23.88 miles (38.43 kilometers).


OPPORTUNITY UPDATE: Pointing the Cameras to Comet ISON - sols 3438-3444, Sept. 25, 2013-Oct. 01, 2013: Opportunity is at the northern edge of 'Solander Point' on the rim of Endeavour Crater. The rover is investigating the geologic contact at the base of Solander Point.

On Sol 3439 (Sept. 26, 2013), Opportunity headed southwest with an approximately 102 foot (31-meter) drive. In the process the rover collected some Panoramic Camera (Pancam) color imagery of a ripple and completed a post-drive Navigation Camera (Navcam) panorama. On Sol 3441 (Sept. 28, 2013), the rover imaged the target 'Callitris' with the Pancam, and then bumped a little over 16 feet (5 meters) to put the target within reach of the rover's robotic arm.

Opportunity pointed the Panoramic Camera (Pancam) at comet ISON but the comet did not make itself bright enough to be visible to Pancam.

On Sol 3444 (Sept. 1, 2013), Opportunity used the Rock Abrasion Tool (RAT) to brush the target Callitris before collecting a Microscopic Image (MI) mosaic of the same and placing the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) for an overnight integration.

As of Sol 3444 (Sept. 1, 2013), the solar array energy production was 323 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.633 and a solar array dust factor of 0.494.

Total odometry is 23.87 miles (38.41 kilometers).


OPPORTUNITY UPDATE: Taking Snapshots Galore at 'Solander Point - 'sols 3432-3437, Sept. 18, 2013-Sept. 24, 2013: Opportunity is at the northern edge of 'Solander Point' on the rim of Endeavour Crater. The rover is investigating the geologic contact at the base of Solander Point.

Sol 3432 (Sept. 18, 2013), began with pre-drive color Panoramic Camera (Pancam) imaging of targets 'Long Nosed Potoroo,' 'Little Red Kaluta,' and some nearby rock outcrop. A short, 7 foot (2-meter) bump followed, set the rover in position for some in-situ (contact) science on a surface target. On Sol 3433 (Sept. 19, 2013), a late afternoon, low-sun Pancam sky survey was conducted.

On Sol 3433 (Sept. 19, 2013), Opportunity performed a brush with the Rock Abrasion Tool (RAT) of the surface target called 'Wally Wombat,' followed by a Microscopic Imager (MI) mosaic, and then a placement of the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) for a multi-sol integration. Sol 3436 (Sept. 23, 2013), included taking a color Pancam panorama of nearby dunes. On Sol 3437 (Sept. 24, 2013), Opportunity captured Pancam images of the apron transect, 'Agile Antechinus' and the local contact edge between ground formations. A 107 foot (32.5-meter) drive to the southwest followed. At the beginning of the drive, Opportunity looked back at target 'Wally Wombat' to acquire a 13-filter Pancam image of the brushed target. After the drive, Opportunity acquired a Navigation Camera (Navcam) 5x1 mosaic and performed an APXS atmospheric argon integration.

As of Sol 3437 (Sept. 24, 2013), the solar array energy production was 322 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.620 and a solar array dust factor of 0.505.

Total odometry is 23.84 miles (38.37 kilometers).


OPPORTUNITY UPDATE: Robotic Arm Goes to Work on Rock Target - sols 3426-3431, Sep. 12, 2013-Sep. 17, 2013: Opportunity is at the northern edge of 'Solander Point' on the rim of Endeavour Crater. The rover is investigating the geologic contact at the base of Solander Point.

On Sol 3426 (Sept. 12, 2013), Opportunity drove 28 feet (8.62 meters) to reach a surface target. On the next sol, the rover deployed the robotic arm to investigate the surface target named, 'Poverty Bush.' First, the rover imaged the Rock Abrasion Tool (RAT) bit to assess the remaining grind life. Then, the rover collected some calibration sky flat images with the Microscopic Imager (MI). After that, a Microscopic Imager mosaic was collected of Poverty Bush, followed by the placement of the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) for a multi-sol integration.

On Sol 3430 (Sept. 16, 2013), Opportunity drove away heading about 39 feet (12 meters) to the west/northwest. On the next sol, the rover continued driving another 74 feet (22.5 meters) to reach another candidate outcrop for in-situ (contact) science investigation.

As of Sol 3431 (Sept. 17, 2013), the solar array energy production was 346 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.619 and a solar array dust factor of 0.520.

Total odometry is 23.82 miles (38.34 kilometers).


OPPORTUNITY UPDATE: Driving to New Rock Targets - sols 3418-3425, Sept. 04, 2013-Sept. 11, 2013: Opportunity is at the base of 'Solander Point' on the rim of Endeavour Crater. The rover is investigating the geologic contact at the edge of Solander Point.

On Sol 3418 (Sept. 4, 2013), Opportunity finished an Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) measurement of the surface target, called 'Dibbler,' along with collecting some color Panoramic Camera (Pancam) images of the scarp along the edge of Solander.

On Sol 3419 (Sept. 5, 2013), the rover bumped just over 9.8 feet (3 meters) to a new surface target, called 'Monjon.' The next sol was used to collect an atmospheric argon measurement with the APXS. On Sol 3422 (Sept. 8, 2013), the rover used the robotic arm to collect a Microscopic Imager (MI) mosaic of Monjon, then, placed the APXS on the same for an overnight integration. On the next sol, Opportunity offset the APXS for another integration and documented the offset with a MI finder frame image. A seven-frame Navigation (Navcam) Camera panorama was also collected.

On Sol 3425 (Sept. 11, 2013), the rover drove further along the geologic contact towards new in-situ (contact) science targets.

As of Sol 3424 (Sept. 10, 2013), the solar array energy production was 362 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.591 and a solar array dust factor of 0.513.

Total odometry is 23.79 miles (38.29 kilometers).


OPPORTUNITY UPDATE: Investigating 'Coal Island' Rock Outcrop - sols 3411-3417, Aug. 28, 2013-Sept. 03, 2013: Opportunity is at the base of 'Solander Point' on the rim of Endeavour Crater. The rover is investigating a scarp (rock outcrop), called 'Coal Island.'

On Sol 3412 (Aug. 29, 2013), Opportunity approached a surface target, with a 180-degree turn-in-place, followed by a 6-foot (1.7-meter) bump to place a target of interest within reach of the robotic arm instruments. The rover began a survey of the scarp with multi-spectral Panoramic Camera (Pancam) imaging. On Sol 3415 (Sept. 1, 2013), the rover used the robotic arm to collect a Microscopic Imager (MI) mosaic of the surface target, called 'Dibbler' and place the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) on the target for multi-sol integration. Opportunity continued the multi-spectral imaging survey of the scarp with more Pancam images over three sols.

As of Sol 3416 (Sept. 2, 2013), the solar array energy production was 365 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.640 and a solar array dust factor of 0.522.

Total odometry is 23.77 miles (38.26 kilometers).


OPPORTUNITY UPDATE: Examining Rocks Around Boulder Field - sols 3405-3410, Aug. 22, 2013-Aug. 27, 2013: Opportunity is at the base of 'Solander Point' on the rim of Endeavour Crater. The rover is navigating around a large boulder field examining the geologic contacts in this area.

On Sol 3405 (Aug. 22, 2013), Opportunity backed away from the target 'Platypus' to image it with the color Panoramic Cameras, then moved about 13 feet (4 meters) navigating around the boulder field for surface targets to investigate. Navigation Camera images of the rover tracks were also collected.

On Sol 3407 (Aug. 24, 2013), Opportunity moved 35 feet (10.7) meters further within the boulder field, skirting some large rocks. On the following sol, the rover collected a measurement of atmospheric argon using the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer.

On Sol 3410 (Aug. 27, 2013), Opportunity drove about 118 feet (36 meters) approaching an exciting geologic contact.

As of Sol 3410 (Aug. 27, 2013), the solar array energy production was 373 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.646 and a solar array dust factor of 0.525.

Total odometry is 23.77 miles (38.26 kilometers).


OPPORTUNITY UPDATE: Scouting a Boulder Field - sols 3398-3404, Aug. 15, 2013-Aug. 21, 2013: Opportunity is at the base of 'Solander Point' on the rim of Endeavour Crater. The rover is scouting a large boulder field.

On Sol 3398 (Aug. 15, 2013), Opportunity drove 75 feet (22.8 meters) into the boulder field to approach a potential surface target. On Sol 3399 (Aug. 16, 2013), an Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) measurement of atmospheric argon was performed. On Sol 3400 (Aug. 17, 2013), Opportunity bumped only 1.3 feet (0.4 meters) to place a surface target within reach of the robotic arm.

After remote sensing observations over the weekend, on Sol 3403 (Aug. 20, 2013), the rover used the Rock Abrasion Tool (RAT) to brush the surface of the target now called 'Platypus.' This was followed by a Microscopic Imager (MI) mosaic and a placement of the APXS for a multi-sol integration.

As of Sol 3404 (Aug. 21, 2013), the solar array energy production was 367 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.660 and a solar array dust factor of 0.522.

Total odometry is 23.74 miles (38.21 kilometers).


OPPORTUNITY UPDATE: Snapping Pictures of the Martian Moons - sols 3392-3397, Aug. 08, 2013-Aug. 13, 2013: Opportunity is at the base of 'Solander Point' on the rim of Endeavour Crater. The rover is positioned in front of a large rock, called 'Tick Bush' for in-situ (contact) investigation with the instruments on the robotic arm.

On Sol 3392 (Aug. 8, 2013), a Microscopic Imager (MI) mosaic was collected of Tick Bush, followed by the placement of the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) for multi-sol integration. On Sol 3396 (Aug. 12, 2013), the robotic arm repositioned the APXS with a small offset, documented by a Microscopic Imager finder frame image. Also on that sol, the rover took advantage of a celestial alignment and imaged the transit of both moons, Phobos and Deimos. A second Phobos transit was imaged on the next sol while the APXS continued to integrate on the rock target.

As of Sol 3397 (Aug. 13, 2013), the solar array energy production was 376 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.695 and a solar array dust factor of 0.532.

Total odometry is 23.73 miles (38.18 kilometers).


OPPORTUNITY UPDATE: Opportunity Reaches Base of 'Solander Point' - sols 3385-3391, Aug. 01, 2013-Aug. 07, 2013: Opportunity is at the base of 'Solander Point' on the rim of Endeavour Crater. The rover arrived at the edge of Solander Point with a series of drives on Sols 3385 and 3387 (Aug. 1 and Aug. 3, 2013), achieving drive distances of 385 feet (117.4 meters) and 198 feet (60.4 meters), respectively. Later, the rover will drive up onto the point and benefit from the north-facing slope there.

On Sol 3389 (Aug. 5, 2013), Opportunity approached a boulder field with a 54 feet (16.6 meter) drive. Taking advantage of a surface target of opportunity within the robotic arm work volume, the rover performed two-sol 'Touch 'n Go' on Sols 3390 and 3391 (Aug. 6 and Aug. 7, 2013). On the first sol, Opportunity used the robotic arm to collect a Microscopic Imager mosaic of the surface target called 'Red Poker' and then place the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer on the target for an overnight integration. On the second sol, the rover drove away, moving 15 feet (4.7 meters) towards another rock target.

As of Sol 3390 (Aug. 6, 2013), the solar array energy production was 385 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.770 and a solar array dust factor of 0.543.

Total odometry is 23.73 miles (38.18 kilometers).


OPPORTUNITY UPDATE: Taking Time to Study the Area Near 'Solander Point' - sols 3377-3384, Jul. 24, 2013-Jul. 31, 2013: Opportunity has been investigating an in-situ (contact) science target, a rock called 'Black Shoulder.' The rover is still about 656 feet (200 meters) away from the base of 'Solander Point,' but near enough to be able to spend time conducting local field science.

With the rover already at Black Shoulder, the robotic arm was used to collect a Microscopic Imager (MI) mosaic of the rock's surface before the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) was placed on Sol 3378 (July 25, 2013). Opportunity continued the investigation of the rock's surface with more MI images and APXS integrations on Sols 3380 and 3381 (July 27 and 28, 2013). On the morning of the second sol, the first set of Panoramic Camera (Pancam) images of Solander Point, as part of a long baseline stereo imaging campaign, were collected. On Sol 3382 (July 29, 2013), a target on the rock was ground and brushed by the Rock Abrasion Tool (RAT), followed by a MI mosaic and an APXS measurement on the freshly ground surface.

With the work now complete at Black Shoulder, the rover drove about 33 feet (10 meters) to the east on Sol 3384 (July 31, 2013), to set up for the second set of Pancam images of Solander Point, part of the long baseline stereo imaging campaign.

As of Sol 3384 (July 31, 2013), the solar array energy production was 395 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.800 and a solar array dust factor of 0.574.

Total odometry is 23.60 miles (37.98 kilometers).


OPPORTUNITY UPDATE: Opportunity Nears 'Solander Point:' - sols 3370-3376, Jul. 17, 2013-Jul. 23, 2013: Opportunity has arrived in the region near the base of 'Solander Point.' At the current location, the rover is just a few drives from making landfall on the point.

However, the science team will now begin the exploration of the various outcrops, contacts and units that make up the Solander Point geology, prior to ascending the point for winter energy production.

On Sol 3371 (July 18, 2013), the rover advanced about 197 feet (60 meters) towards a region to the northeast of Solander Point to investigate the unusual terrain there. Sols 3373 and 3374 (July 20 and 21, 2013), were a 2-sol Touch 'n Go activity. The rover performed robotic arm in-situ (contact) science with the Microscopic Imager (MI) and the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) on the first sol, then picked up and drove over 164 feet (50 meters) on the second sol. On Sol 3376 (July 23, 2013), Opportunity bumped 12 feet (3.7 meters) towards a rock of interest, to begin a brief in-situ investigation of this rock with the Microscopic Imager and the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer. Before the drive on Sol 3376, the rover took the opportunity to image a Deimos moon transit of the Sun with the Panoramic Camera.

As of Sol 3376 (July 23, 2013), the solar array energy production was 431 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.757 and a solar array dust factor of 0.566.

Total odometry is 23.60 miles (37.97 kilometers).


OPPORTUNITY UPDATE: Stopping for Science on the Way to 'Solander Point' - sols 3364-3369, Jul. 11, 2013-Jul. 16, 2013: Opportunity is in good health. We are now within a few hundred (656-984 feet, or 200-300 meters) of the 'Solander Point' destination. However, the team doesn't need the northerly tilt that Solander Point offers yet, so they decided to use a few of the margin sols accumulated to investigate an area of interesting terrain and gypsum signatures.

The Sol 3366 (July 13, 2013) drive began veering to the Southeast and then to the East in the Sol 3369 (July 16, 2013) drive. The team sequenced a multi-sol drive in the three-sol plan of 3366-3368 (July 13-July 15, 2013). However, though the first sol drive of 262 feet (80 meters) on (July 13, 2013) completed nominally, the second sol drive on Sol 3367 (July 14, 2013), was precluded due to exceeding a pitch-limit at the end of the first sol of driving. This was as a result of a safety check specifically designed for multi-sol drives, which worked as intended as Opportunity happened to find herself in a shallow depression at the end of Sol 3366 (July 13, 2013) drive. In total, Opportunity drove 912 feet (278 meters) in three drives for this period.

As of Sol 3369 (July 16, 2013), the solar array energy production was 450 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.705 and a solar array dust factor of 0.584.

Total odometry is 23.52 miles (37.86 kilometers).


OPPORTUNITY UPDATE: More Progress Toward 'Solander Point' - sols 3351-3363, Jun. 27, 2013-Jul. 10, 2013: Opportunity is in good health. On Sol 3351 (June 27, 2013), the rover drove over 393 feet (over 120 meters), heading toward 'Solander Point' on the rim of Endeavour Crater. Also on that sol, a set of diagnostics were performed on the Joint 3 (elbow) potentiometer on the robotic arm. This potentiometer is a sensor that can indicate if the arm has moved. Arm movement is not intended during a drive. Preliminary analysis indicates that the readings from the potentiometer were anomalous and that the arm did not move. The project is masking those readings in the rover's flight software so that anomalous readings will not halt a drive.

In a two-sol plan, Opportunity performed a 'touch 'n go,' using the robotic arm one sol and driving the next sol, on Sols 3352 and 3353, (June 28 and June 30, 2013, using the Pacific Daylight Time date at noon of the sol; no sol's noon fell on June 29). On the first sol, the Microscopic Imager (MI) collected a mosaic of a surface target. The Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) then collected data overnight. On the second sol of the plan, the rover drove over 98 feet (over 30 meters). On Sol 3355 (July 2, 2013), Opportunity completed another long drive, over 262 feet (over 118 meters).

In preparation for the long Fourth of July holiday period, two sets of three-sol plans were developed to keep Opportunity busy while the flight team had time off. The first plan covered sols 3356 to 3358 (July 3 to July 5, 2013). A 82-foot (25-meter) drive was sequenced for the first sol, with a special automatic stop to use rover tilt and achieve maximum power generation for later activities. On the second sol, the rover made an atmospheric argon measurement with the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS). It conducted routine remote-sensing measurements on the third sol. With the drive results from Sol 3356 (July 3, 2013) received in time for planning the next three-sol plan, the flight team sequenced another drive for Sol 3360 (July 7, 2013) after a special observation of both of Mars' moons. Opportunity imaged Phobos and Deimos with the Panoramic Camera (Pancam) very early on the morning of that sol, using that extra energy from the rover's favorable tilt. After the observation finished, the rover drove 138 feet (42 meters). It spent the final sol of this three-sol plan recharging batteries with some light remote-sensing observations.

After the holiday, Opportunity continued to push closer to Solander Point with a drive on Sol 3362 (July 9, 2013) that exceeded 291 feet (88.7 meters) and a drive on Sol 3363 (July 10, 2013) of about 193 feet (59 meters).

As of Sol 3363 (July 10, 2013), the solar array energy production is 435 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.786 and a solar array dust factor of 0.606.

Total odometry is 23.35 miles (37.58 kilometers).


OPPORTUNITY UPDATE: Opportunity Exceeds 37 Kilometers of Odometry! - sols 3345-3350, Jun. 21, 2013-Jun. 24, 2013: Opportunity is in good health, although the robotic arm elbow joint potentiometer is acting up.

On Sol 3346 (June 22, 2013), the rover continued the trek toward 'Solander Point' with a 295-foot (90-meter) drive due south. On Sol 3347 (June 23, 2013), Opportunity imaged the Rock Abrasion Tool (RAT) bit to assess remaining bit life. On the next sol, Opportunity exceeded 23 miles (37 kilometers) of odometry with a 318-feet (97-meter) drive. On Sol 3349 (June 25, 2013), a long drive was planned, but was terminated after only 207 feet (63 meters) when the potentiometer on the robotic arm elbow indicated an unexpected motion, stopping the drive. This potentiometer is a sensor that can indicate if the arm has moved, which is not intended during a drive. Investigation of the joint and the use of before and after images showed no joint motion.

A drive was planned on Sol 3350 (June 26, 2013), and stopped almost immediately due to an even larger anomalous reading of that same potentiometer. The plan ahead is to conduct a set of diagnostics on the joint potentiometer.

As of Sol 3350 (June 26, 2013), the solar array energy production was 457 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.805 and a solar array dust factor of 0.607.

Total odometry is 23.05 miles (37.09 kilometers).


OPPORTUNITY UPDATE: Opportunity is Healthy and Driving to 'Solander Point' - sols 3340-3344, Jun. 16, 2013-Jun. 20, 2013: Opportunity is in good health. As of June 21, 2013, Opportunity has been on Mars for five Martian years.

The project successfully recovered the rover from the flash-memory write error induced reset on Sol 3336 (June 12, 2013), which left the rover without a running master sequence.

The initial recovery attempt on Sol 3337 (June 13, 2013), was not successful because the rover did not wake earlier enough to receive the recovery commands, although it was understood that this was a possibility due to variability in the morning wake-up time. Opportunity was successfully recovered over Sols 3338 and 3339 (June 14 and 15, 2013).

The second sol also included a 246-foot (75-meter) drive. That drive contained the first part of a two-sol test of multi-sol autonomous driving. The rover drove again on Sol 3342 (June 18, 2013), with a 200-foot (61-meter) drive which contained the second part of the multi-sol autonomous driving. On Sol 3344 (June 20, 2013), the science team decided to head east toward the feature called 'Nobbys Head' for a closer look with the rover driving just under 108 feet (33 meters). The plan ahead is to turn south and make a direct beeline to 'Solander Point' still over a kilometer away.

As of Sol 3344 (June 20, 2013), the solar array energy production was 497 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.801 and a solar array dust factor of 0.626.

Total odometry is 22.89 miles (36.84 kilometers).


OPPORTUNITY UPDATE: Recovery from Another Flash-Related Reset - sols 3331-3339, Jun. 07, 2013-Jun. 15, 2013: On sols 3332 and 3333 (June and June 9, 2013) , Opportunity performed a 'touch 'n go' two-sol plan, using the robotic arm on the first sol to take Microscopic Imager (MI) images and position the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) for an overnight integration, followed by a drive on the second sol. The rover drove on sols 3333 and 3335 (June 9 and June 11, 2013), totaling over 216 feet (over 65 meters).

Opportunity experienced a warm reset on Sol 3336 (June 12, 2013) due to the type of flash-memory issue also experienced on Sol 3235 (Feb. 28, 2013). The rover put itself into precautionary automode in response to the reset. On Sol 3339 (June 15, 2013), Opportunity was restored to sequence control -- carrying out commands sent from the operations team -- and drove 246 feet (75 meters). The rover is in good health.

As of Sol 3336 (June 12, 2013), the solar array energy production was 517 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.829 and a solar array dust factor of 0.645.

Total odometry as of Sol 3339 (June 15, 2013) is 22.83 miles (36.75 kilometers).


OPPORTUNITY UPDATE: Continuing Drive to 'Solander Point' - sols 3324-3330, May. 30, 2013-Jun. 06, 2013: Opportunity is continuing her push to reach 'Solander Point,' now reaching the site called 'Nobbys Head' along the way.

Stereo imagery of Nobbys Head will be collected to assess north-facing slopes there as a possible bailout site for winter, if Solander Point can't be reached. Opportunity drove on Sols 3324, 3325, 3328 and 3330 (May 30, June 1, June 4 and June 6, 2013), totaling over 0.19 miles (310 meters) in a continuing southerly direction.

With sufficient power the rover was able to support an AM Ultra High Frequency relay pass on Sol 3327 (June 3, 2013). The plan ahead is to drive more as the rover moves closer towards Solander Point still some 0.93 miles (1.5 kilometers) away.

As of Sol 3329 (June 5, 2013), the solar array energy production was 535 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.806 and a solar array dust factor of 0.663.

Total odometry is 22.75 miles (36.61 kilometers).


OPPORTUNITY UPDATE: Driving to 'Solander Point' - sols 3317-3323, May. 23, 2013-May. 29, 2013: Opportunity is continuing her push to reach 'Solander Point,' still over 1.2 miles (2 kilometers) away.

The rover drove only two of the last seven days (sols) due to the long holiday weekend. Opportunity drove on Sols 3317 and 3323 (May 23 and May 29, 2013), totaling 522 feet (159 meters), continuing in the southeasterly direction. On Sol 3318 (May 24, 2013), an overnight atmospheric argon measurement was performed with the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS). A 13-filter panoramic camera (Pancam) image was taken of the rover magnets on Sol 3320 (May 26, 2013), with some Rock Abrasion Tool (RAT) bit imaging and Microscopic Imager (MI) sky flats taken on the next sol. With sufficient power the rover was able to support an AM Ultra High Frequency relay pass on Sol 3321 (May 27, 2013). The plan ahead is more driving as the rover moves towards Solander Point.

As of Sol 3323 (May 29, 2013), the solar array energy production was 546 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.838 and a solar array dust factor of 0.664.

Total odometry is 22.55 miles (36.29 kilometers).


OPPORTUNITY UPDATE: Departing 'Cape York' - sols 3310-3316, May. 16, 2013-May. 22, 2013: Opportunity has begun the departure from 'Cape York' and started the push to reach 'Solander Point' over 1.2 miles (2 kilometers) away.

The rover drove five out of the last seven days (sols). Opportunity drove on Sols 3310, 3312, 3314, 3315 and 3316 (May 16, 18, 20, 21 and May 22, 2013), totaling over 0.23 miles (376 meters), mostly in the southeasterly direction.

Atmospheric opacity (tau) has been decreasing after it spiked from the passing of a regional dust storm. Opportunity benefitted from a modest solar array dust cleaning event between Sol 3311 and 3315 (May 17 and 21, 2013). The plan ahead is more to drive as the rover pushes towards Solander Point.

As of Sol 3316 (May 22, 2013), the solar array energy production was 541 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.903 and a solar array dust factor of 0.649.

Total odometry is 22.45 miles (36.14 kilometers).


OPPORTUNITY UPDATE: Record-Setting Drive by Opportunity - sols 3303-3309, May. 09, 2013-May. 15, 2013: Opportunity has set a new off-world driving record for a U.S. spacecraft having surpassed the record previously held by Apollo 17 in the Sol 3309 (May 15, 2013) drive.

Prior to that, Opportunity finished off analysis of the 'Esperance' rock target with a full overnight Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) integration of the rock abrasion tool (RAT) hole on Sol 3305 (May 11, 2013). Early analysis seems to confirm that this is a clay that had been intensely altered by relatively neutral pH water - representing the most favorable conditions for biology that Opportunity has yet seen in the rock histories it has encountered.

A local dust storm had cause us some concern as we saw the atmospheric opacity (tau) increase to the neighborhood of 1.5 for several sols, but the storm seems to have dissipated and is no longer constraining activities to any great degree.

Solar array energy on Sol 3309 (May 15, 2013), was 431 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) measurement of 1.21, and a dust factor of 0.576. All systems are nominal.

Total odometry is 22.22 miles (35.76 kilometers).


OPPORTUNITY UPDATE: Making Smallest Turn Yet, As Dust Storm Affects Rover - sols 3296-3302, May. 05, 2013-May. 08, 2013: Opportunity is feverishly working to complete analysis of 'Esperance,' believed to be a phyllosilicate-rich target, before departing for her winter haven at 'Solander Point' to the south.

On Sol 3296 (May 2, 2013), she attempted the smallest turn in her history (~0.5 degrees) to get a better position for the rock abrasion tool (RAT). The turn was successful and use of the RAT commenced on Sol 3301(May 7, 2013).

Complicating the satisfactory completion of the rock Esperance analysis was the growth of a regional dust storm nearby, which drove the atmospheric opacity or tau to 1.53 (also on Sol 3301). The tau on Sol 3302 (May 8, 2013), slightly decreased to 1.45, but a close watch is being kept in case conditions worsen. If atmospheric opacity stabilizes or continues to decrease, we hope to complete instrument deployment device (IDD) work and begin driving away by Sol 3309 (May 15, 2013).

Solar array energy on Sol 3302 (May 8, 2013), was 385 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) measurement of 1.45, and a dust factor of 0.584. All systems are nominal.

Total odometry is 22.15 miles (35.65 kilometers).


OPPORTUNITY UPDATE: Rover Back in Action - sols 3291-3295, Apr. 27, 2013-May. 01, 2013: Opportunity has safely emerged from solar conjunction. However, in the past week the flight team learned that the rover did experience a flash memory anomaly during conjunction on Sol 3286 (April 21, 2013), that put the rover into automode, a standby mode where no onboard sequences are running.

The flight team attempted to recover the rover from automode on Sol 3294 (April 30, 2013), but was unsuccessful due to an operational error. This error is being investigated by the project. On the subsequent sol, Opportunity was successfully restored to normal operations. The rover is in good health with nominal science planning proceeding.

As of Sol 3294 (April 30, 2013), the solar array energy production was 506 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.672 and a solar array dust factor of 0.573.

Total odometry is unchanged at 22.15 miles (35.65 kilometers).


OPPORTUNITY UPDATE: Rover Telemetry Expected Today -- sols 3279-3290, Apr. 14, 2013-Apr. 26, 2013: Opportunity is stationary for solar conjunction at 'Cape York' on the rim of Endeavour Crater.

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.

As of writing this report (April 26, 2013), the last telemetry received was before conjunction on Sol 3278 (April 13, 2013), and indicated a healthy rover at that time.

Rover telemetry is expected to resume later today.

Total odometry is unchanged at 22.15 miles (35.65 kilometers).


OPPORTUNITY UPDATE: Rover Quiet During Solar Conjunction -- sols 3275-3278, April 10, 2013-April 13, 2013:
Opportunity is stationary for solar conjunction at "Cape York" on the rim of Endeavour Crater.

Telemetry is limited during conjunction with the last telemetry received on Sol 3278 (April 10, 2013).

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. See solar conjunction video at: http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/multimedia/videos/index.cfm?v=122.

As of Sol 3278 (April 10, 2013), the vehicle is healthy with positive energy margins.

Total odometry is unchanged at 22.15 miles (35.65 kilometers).

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Last Updated: 21 Oct 2013