[meteorite-list] Mars Rover Opportunity Update: April 6-11, 2016
From: Ron Baalke <baalke_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Fri, 15 Apr 2016 15:31:27 -0700 (PDT)
OPPORTUNITY UPDATE: Rover Mini-Walkabout to Find Clay Mineral Continues
- sols 4338-4343, April 06, 2016-April 11, 2016:
Opportunity is exploring the south side of 'Marathon Valley' located on
the rim of Endeavour crater.
The objective is to identify specific outcrops for evidence of clay minerals,
so Opportunity is conducting a mini-'walkabout' in regions that show evidence
for clay minerals seen from orbit. The plan is to quickly survey a large
region with imagery and then identify surface targets of interest for
further in-situ (contact) investigation.
At each drive location on the walkabout, the rover collects extensive
Navigation Camera (Navcam) and Panoramic Camera (Pancam) panoramas plus
targeted multi-filter (color) Pancam panoramas. Energy levels have been
very good, so the rover was able to stay up late and collect an atmospheric
argon measurement with the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) on
Sol 4338 (April 6, 2016), after spending the day collecting a multi-frame
Pancam panorama. The previous few drives had indicated an elevation in
the right-front wheel current. Some of that is explained by the steep
terrain the rover is climbing.
The team sequenced a set of 'cleat cams' (sub-framed Hazardous Camera
images) of the front wheels on Sol 4339 (April 7, 2016), to make sure
there were no small rocks that might be fouling the wheels. The wheels
were found to be clear of any rocks. On Sol 4340 (April 8, 2016), a set
of Microscopic Imager (MI) sky flats (calibration images) were collected
using the robotic arm to point the MI up at the diffuse sky. More Pancam
and Navcam panoramic imaging was collected at this location. On the next
sol, Opportunity drove about 45 feet (13.7 meters) to the southwest to
set up for the next imagining station. Over the next two sols the rover
collected extensive Pancam and Navcam imagery.
As of Sol 4343 (April 11, 2016), the solar array energy production is
617 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.459 and a solar
array dust factor of 0.785.
Total odometry is 26.58 miles (42.78 kilometers), more than a marathon.
Received on Fri 15 Apr 2016 06:31:27 PM PDT