[meteorite-list] Mars Rover Opportunity Update: August 12-18, 2015

From: Ron Baalke <baalke_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Wed, 2 Sep 2015 15:39:39 -0700 (PDT)
Message-ID: <201509022239.t82Mdd9u015559_at_zagami.jpl.nasa.gov>

OPPORTUNITY UPDATE: Clay-Mineral Rocks Get Closer Inspection,
sols 4106-4112, August 12, 2015-August 18, 2015.

Opportunity is in 'Marathon Valley' on the west rim of Endeavour Crater
exploring for phyllosilicate clay minerals.

The rover is operating in persistent RAM mode (not using Flash for data
storage). Winter power levels have been constraining some rover activities.
The rover is conducting both an in-situ (contact) science investigation
of a surface target within the central unit of the valley and a Panoramic
Camera (Pancam) panorama survey of the North Wall of the valley.

On Sol 4107 (August 13, 2015), Opportunity used the Rock Abrasion Tool
(RAT) to brush a surface target. This was followed by the collection of
a Microscopic Imager (MI) mosaic and an Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer
(APXS) placement on the same. On Sol 4110 (August 16, 2015), the rover
continued with more MI mosaics of the target and an offset placement of
the APXS for a multi-hour integration. Further Pancam images of the North
Wall were taken.

On Sol 4111 (August 17, 2015), the RAT was used to grind 1 millimeter
into the surface rock unit. Documentary MI imagery was taken and the APXS
placed again. Some diagnostic readouts of Flash memory Bank 7 were performed.
Additional readouts will be done on subsequent sols. On Sol 4112 (August
18, 2015), a complete MI mosaic was collected of the RAT grind was made
along with another APXS placement. Deeper grinding is expected in the
coming sols. Other than the Flash, Opportunity is in good health.

As of Sol 4112 (August 18, 2015), the solar array energy production was
416 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.650 and a solar
array dust factor of 0.597.

Total odometry is 26.41 miles (42.51 kilometers), more than a marathon.
Received on Wed 02 Sep 2015 06:39:39 PM PDT

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