[meteorite-list] Mars Rover Opportunity Update: June 06-11, 2012

From: Ron Baalke <baalke_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Thu, 14 Jun 2012 18:01:02 -0700 (PDT)
Message-ID: <201206150101.q5F1128A016206_at_zagami.jpl.nasa.gov>


OPPORTUNITY UPDATE: Slow Going Due to Communication Issues - sols
2975-2980, June 06-11, 2012:

Opportunity has been investigating light-toned veins around the north
end of Cape York on the rim of Endeavour Crater.

Recently, things became complicated, first by Mars Odyssey orbiter going
into safe mode, leaving Opportunity without timely relay support, and
then by a missed Ultra High Frequency (UHF) relay pass with Mars
Reconnaissance Orbiter on Sol 2976 (June 7, 2012). The project responded
to the missed UHF pass by sending real-time commands to the rover on Sol
2977 (June 8, 2012), to elicit a response to make sure Opportunity was

Further, the project asked MRO to change the data rate on the next relay
pass to ensure lock-up under poor Signal to Noise Ratio conditions. The
missed relay pass was likely the result of poor relay geometry between
the orbiter and rover. With Odyssey unavailable for relay support for a
number of days, the MER project converted several future rover Deep
Space Network tracking passes from "Direct from Earth" to "Direct to
Earth" to return some telemetry directly over the rover's X-band system.

The plans forward for Opportunity have been modest, mostly remote
sensing, owing to the lack of relay support from Odyssey. A bump of the
rover was sequenced for Sol 2981 (June 12, 2012). This will be followed
by a MRO UHF relay pass to return the drive results.

As of Sol 2977 (June 8, 2012), solar array energy production was 388
watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.338 and a solar array
dust factor of 0.567.

Total odometry is 21.42 (34,469.86 meters).
Received on Thu 14 Jun 2012 09:01:02 PM PDT

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