[meteorite-list] Mars Rover Opportunity Update: September 16-22, 2015

From: Ron Baalke <baalke_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Tue, 29 Sep 2015 14:58:53 -0700 (PDT)
Message-ID: <201509292158.t8TLwrJ7014597_at_zagami.jpl.nasa.gov>


OPPORTUNITY UPDATE: Rover's Current Location Makes Communications a Challenge
 - sols 4140-4146, September 16, 2015-September 22, 2015:

Opportunity is within 'Marathon Valley' on the west rim of Endeavour Crater
conducting a walk-about survey for clay minerals.

The rover's current location within Marathon Valley with its high walls
to the north and west presents a challenge for low-elevation Ultra-High-Frequency
(UHF) relay passes to the west. On Sol 4141 (Sept. 17, 2015), no data
were received as the orbiter's flight path was below the elevation on
the valley ridgeline. On that sol, the rover did successfully perform
an in-situ science campaign on the surface target, 'Pvt. George Gibson'
that included a Microscopic Imager (MI) mosaic and the placement of the
Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS). Some of those data were received
on subsequent sols. On Sol 4144 (Sept. 20, 2015), another MI mosaic was
taken and the robotic armed stowed for a future drive. Once again, the
high ridgeline of the valley obscured the low-elevation pass on Sol 4145
(Sept. 21, 2015), and little data were received.

On Sol 4146 (Sept. 22, 2015), Opportunity was configured from RAM-only
operation to Flash as a planned test of the non-volatile storage system.
The drive on that sol completed successfully, but an amnesia event with
Flash prevented a return of drive-related data on that sol. Those data
are expected to be received on subsequent sols. The plan forward is to
continue to operate in Flash for one week in order to gain information
and statistics on the state of the Flash storage system.

As of Sol 4146 (Sept. 22, 2015), the solar array energy production was
335 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.539 and a solar
array dust factor of 0.569.

Total odometry is (26.43 miles) 42.53 kilometers, more than a marathon.
Received on Tue 29 Sep 2015 05:58:53 PM PDT

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