[meteorite-list] Mars Exploration Rover Update - October 13, 2004

From: Ron Baalke <baalke_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Fri Oct 15 12:53:17 2004
Message-ID: <200410151653.JAA04282_at_zagami.jpl.nasa.gov>


OPPORTUNITY UPDATE: Working towards 'Wopmay' - sol 245-250,
October 13, 2004

Opportunity is in excellent health. The current pattern is to use the
deep-sleep mode every second night, and to support an early morning
Odyssey communications pass on the non-deep-sleep nights. Opportunity is
experiencing good solar exposure, averaging more than 660 watt-hours per
sol from the solar arrays. The rover is poised for final approach to
"Wopmay," a fascinating creviced rock with a brain-like appearance.

Sol details:

Sol 245 was a restricted sol. Opportunity could perform only remote
sensing. The rover took images in all directions with its navigation
camera. It used its miniature thermal emission spectrometer for sky and
ground observations. Then it went into deep sleep for the night of sol
245 into the morning of sol 246.

Sols 246 through 248 were planned in a single planning cycle as part of
our 5-day-a-week schedule. The uplink team accomplished a Herculean
task, successfully completing and uplinking three science-intensive sol
plans despite some issues encountered during the day.

Opportunity began sol 246 by placing the Mossbauer spectrometer and
starting a long reading with it on a target called "Void." While
collecting the Mossbauer data, Opportunity also performed two hours of
observations with its panoramic camera and its miniature thermal
emission spectrometer. The Mossbauer integration was paused just before
the afternoon communication session with Mars Odyssey. Deep sleep was
disabled so that Opportunity could support an early morning
communications session on sol 247 and restart the Mossbauer integration.

Sol 247 was day two of the long Mossbauer integration; the integration
ran throughout the sol until early evening, at which time Opportunity
again paused and entered deep sleep overnight. During the day,
Opportunity also completed a series photometric observations with its
panoramic camera.

On sol 248 Opportunity exited deep sleep and restarted the Mossbauer
integration. During pre-uplink science activities in the early morning,
the rover completed a sky observation pattern that planners call an
itty-bitty cloud movie. In the martian afternoon, Opportunity ended the
long Mossbauer integration and turned the tool turret on its arm to
place the alpha particle X-ray spectrometer on Void. The X-ray
instrument did not start taking data until early the next morning.
Opportunity did not go into deep sleep overnight. Instead, it used an
early morning Odyssey communications session and immediately afterwards
started the alpha particle X-ray spectrometer integration.

Opportunity completed the alpha particle X-ray spectrometer integration
on the morning of sol 249. The rover then performed a series of
microscopic imaging activities, stowed the instrument deployment device
and began driving toward its next target, Wopmay. The 19.98-meter (about
66-foot) drive went well, but with more slippage than expected. At the
end of the drive, the nearest visible face of Wopmay was only 2 meters
(about 7 feet) from the center of the rover; far enough not to have been
a hazard during the drive, but closer than was predicted. Slip estimates
indicate radial slippage as high as 64 percent. Opportunity used deep
sleep overnight on sol 249.

On sol 250, which ended on Oct. 7, Opportunity performed the first part
of a planned two-sol approach to Wopmay. This nearly 7-meter (23-foot)
drive went well. The end of the drive incorporated conditional arcs to
be executed only if the rover was in the appropriate position. The drive
put the rover in very good position for the final approach on sol 251.

Total odometry after sol 250 puts Opportunity just over the one-mile
mark: 1,611.99 meters (1.0016 mile)!
Received on Fri 15 Oct 2004 12:53:13 PM PDT

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