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Rover Field Reports from Mars

Status Reports for MER Opportunity Rover at Endeavour Crater, Meridiani Planum

 

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L. Crumpler, MER Science Team & New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science

The Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity is still exploring Mars. Below is a brief field report summary of its latest activity.

 


Latest Report


Publish Date: 
Friday, July 7, 2017 - 4:00pm

With the latest drive on sol 4782, Opportunity  began the long drive down the floor of Perseverance Valley here on Endeavour crater. THis is rather historic in that it represents the first time that a rover has driven down an apparent wtaer-cut valley on Mars. Over the next few months OPportunity will explore the floor and sides of the valley for evidence of the scale and timing of the fluvial activity, if that is what is represents.

First there is the little matter of solar conjunction in a couple of weeks. Opportunity needs to be parked in a good, secure spot for the two weeks that mission operations must stand down while Mars is behind the Sun. THis current location will likely be the position during that stand down pepriod. Opportunity achieved a good 10 degree northerl tilt, so this should be power-friendly.

 

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Archived Reports


• Opportunity  continues driving south along the rim of Endeavour crater

• Now approaching next area of outcrop

• Solar panels remain very clean, cleanest since about sol 1600

• Approaching distance driving record

Opportunity is closing in on the next important outcrop area here on the rim of Endeavour  crater. The outcrops just a hundred meters ahead have been identified from orbital remote sensing as having a strong Aluminum hydroxide feature. So these are probably going to be interesting outcrops one way or another.

• Opportunity is several weeks past winter solstice

• solar panels are the cleanest since 2006

• we are driving south along the rim

• near the crest of Murray Ridge

 

Due to a nearly continual wind or breeze at the winter location on Murray Ridge here at Endeavour crater, the solar panels are cleaner than they have been in years. The dust factor is in the high .8s (dust free = 1.0, half dust covered = 0.5). After most recent winters the dust factor has been around 0.45 - 0.50.

• The NM Museum of Natural History MER 10th Anniversary Exhibit opened here on January 24

• Opportunity is still at its "winter haven" on the crest of Murray Ridge

• Opportunity finally finished its study of the "jelly donut" rock Pinnacle Island

• Opportunity is looking now at some odd, possibly mineralized rocks

 

New Exhibit on the 10th Anniversary of MER Here at the NM Museum of Natural Hitory & Science 

• Today is Opportunity's tenth birthday 

• Opportunity is at its "winter haven" on the crest of Murray Ridge

• Opportunity is investigating the "mystery rock" Pinnacle Island

• Power is good due to panel cleaning events

            Today is the tenth anniversary of Opportunity's landing on Mars. here at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science, we just opened a tenth anniversary Exhbit. The exhibit supplements the existing Mars Exploration Rover Exhibit that was opened in December, 2003 weeks before the first landing of Spirit.

- Opportunity is near summit of this part of Endeavour crater rim

- the rock types that we have searched for may be in local outcrops

- winter power is looking good

• the climb continues along the crest of the crater rim

• Opportunity is now very high and the view is starting to be spectacular

• possible important outcrops spotted ahead

 

On sol3451 Opportunity began its climb of Solander Point. This is the highest “mountain” that Opportunity has tried to climb yet. The nice thing about this climb is the fact that it is all on a slope that faces north. Opportunity is solar powered, so north tilts are better for power generation during the winter here just south of the equator.

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