[meteorite-list] Mars Rover Opportunity Update - May 9-15, 2013

From: Ron Baalke <baalke_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Mon, 20 May 2013 13:54:24 -0700 (PDT)
Message-ID: <201305202054.r4KKsOpI011610_at_zagami.jpl.nasa.gov>


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).
Received on Mon 20 May 2013 04:54:24 PM PDT

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