[meteorite-list] Mars Rover Opportunity Update: January 4-12, 2016

From: Ron Baalke <baalke_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Fri, 15 Jan 2016 16:14:41 -0800 (PST)
Message-ID: <201601160014.u0G0EfpW004853_at_zagami.jpl.nasa.gov>


OPPORTUNITY UPDATE: Rover Uses Rock Abrasion Tool to Grind Rocks -
sols 4247-4255, January 04, 2016-January 12, 2016:

Opportunity is inside 'Marathon Valley' on north-facing slopes for
improved solar array energy production.

The rover is engaged in an in-situ (contact) science campaign
investigating the surface target 'Pvt. John Potts' (informally named for
members of the Lewis and Clark expedition).

Opportunity is performing successive grinds into the target to prepare a
clean surface for elemental analysis by the Alpha Particle X-ray
Spectrometer (APXS). An initial grid by the Rock Abrasion Tool (RAT) had
been previously completed, so a survey of the grind was performed on Sol
4248 (Jan. 5, 2016), with the Microscopic Imager (MI) with an initial
analysis with the APXS. Color Pancam panoramas of various targets were
collected on Sols 4249 and 4250 (Jan. 6 and 7, 2016). On Sol 4253 (Jan.
10, 2016), a seek scan with the RAT bit was performed in setup to
another RAT grind on a subsequent sol. On Sol 4255 (Jan. 12, 2016), two
steps of a deeper grind were performed on the target. The RAT was left
in place so even deeper grinding could be performed later.

As of Sol 4255 (Jan. 12, 2016), the solar array energy production was
452 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.446 and an
improved solar array dust factor of 0.666.

Total odometry is 26.50 miles (42.65 kilometers), more than a marathon.
Received on Fri 15 Jan 2016 07:14:41 PM PST

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