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Rover Field Reports from Mars

Status Reports for MER Opportunity Rover at Endeavour Crater, Meridiani Planum

 

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L. Crumpler, MER Science Team & New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science

The Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity is still exploring Mars. Below is a brief field report summary of its latest activity.

 


Latest Report


Publish Date: 
Friday, March 2, 2018 - 10:30am

During the last week of Febraury, 2018, on Sol 4999 since landing on Mars (14 tears ago), Opportunity woke up at took a picture of the sunrise over the southeast rim of Endeavour crater. Opportunity then proceeded with its science activities here on the inner wall of Endeavour crater.

For its special sol 5000, Opportunity did a selfie using the microcopic imager on the end of the arm. The other Mars Exploration Rover, Spirit, had used the microscopic imager to do a selfie (actually just images of the of the underside of the rover to look for clearance on a rock) many years ago. But this was the first time that Opportunity had attempted a true selfie. Because the Microscopic Imager is a fixed focus "handlens", images of far away features are out of focus and the mosaic selfie is not perefct. But when these images arrived, the Science Team and Rover Engineers were a bit surprosed that the selfie  was actually pretty good. The selfie is a bit blurry, but as a sol 5000 "birthday" present, it is a great selfie from of a verteran Mars Rover on Mars. It is an excellent example of an old rover learning a new trick.


Archived Reports


• This sol is the Spring Equinox for the southern hemisphere on Mars

• Opportunity is now commencing ascent of a steep crater rim segment

• Opportunity has arrived at the base of an unusual outcrop

• Approximate 200 sol journey along “mountain ridge crest” ahead

• Opportunity now holds the distance record
• About to begin climb up the highest crater rim segment
• Brief stop this sol to look at contact with plains

Opportunity drove 48 meters on Sunday, July 27, exceeding the 21 meters necessary for it to have driven exactly 25 miles. ASt the concludion of the drive Opportunity had driven farther o=n the surface of another planet than any rover in history. This means that we have driven 25 miles actoss Mars and seen things that no one would ever have imagined that we would see.

• Opportunity has left the winter haven and is still driving south along the rim of Endeavour crater

• Currently exploring an outcrop a few meters from crater rim

• Power remains excellent but there is much driving ahead

• Opportunity  continues driving south along the rim of Endeavour crater

• Now approaching next area of outcrop

• Solar panels remain very clean, cleanest since about sol 1600

• Approaching distance driving record

Opportunity is closing in on the next important outcrop area here on the rim of Endeavour  crater. The outcrops just a hundred meters ahead have been identified from orbital remote sensing as having a strong Aluminum hydroxide feature. So these are probably going to be interesting outcrops one way or another.

• Opportunity is several weeks past winter solstice

• solar panels are the cleanest since 2006

• we are driving south along the rim

• near the crest of Murray Ridge

 

Due to a nearly continual wind or breeze at the winter location on Murray Ridge here at Endeavour crater, the solar panels are cleaner than they have been in years. The dust factor is in the high .8s (dust free = 1.0, half dust covered = 0.5). After most recent winters the dust factor has been around 0.45 - 0.50.

• The NM Museum of Natural History MER 10th Anniversary Exhibit opened here on January 24

• Opportunity is still at its "winter haven" on the crest of Murray Ridge

• Opportunity finally finished its study of the "jelly donut" rock Pinnacle Island

• Opportunity is looking now at some odd, possibly mineralized rocks

 

New Exhibit on the 10th Anniversary of MER Here at the NM Museum of Natural Hitory & Science 

• Today is Opportunity's tenth birthday 

• Opportunity is at its "winter haven" on the crest of Murray Ridge

• Opportunity is investigating the "mystery rock" Pinnacle Island

• Power is good due to panel cleaning events

            Today is the tenth anniversary of Opportunity's landing on Mars. here at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science, we just opened a tenth anniversary Exhbit. The exhibit supplements the existing Mars Exploration Rover Exhibit that was opened in December, 2003 weeks before the first landing of Spirit.

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