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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


- Opportunity is near summit of this part of Endeavour crater rim

- the rock types that we have searched for may be in local outcrops

- winter power is looking good

• the climb continues along the crest of the crater rim

• Opportunity is now very high and the view is starting to be spectacular

• possible important outcrops spotted ahead

 

On sol3451 Opportunity began its climb of Solander Point. This is the highest “mountain” that Opportunity has tried to climb yet. The nice thing about this climb is the fact that it is all on a slope that faces north. Opportunity is solar powered, so north tilts are better for power generation during the winter here just south of the equator.

• Opportunity "wades ashore" at Solander Point on September 13

• climbing Solander Point is imminent

• spectacular Navcam panorama of the major geologic contact at this location

 

• Opportunity is at the base of Solander Point

• a boulder field here appears to be mostly vesicular basalt, a rock type that is not local

• shortly Opportunity will drive northwest along the scarp at the base of Solander Point

 

Opportunity arrived at the base of the next segment of the Endeavour crater rim and is now investigating the contact.

• less than 100m to go before “land fall” on Solander Point

• the next drive will put Opportunity at the “shore”

• a “new world” is about to be explored; what strange rocks and structures will we encounter?

 

• About to finish last observations in the plains before arrival at the next mountain

• There is a short stop here to measure one last rock in the plains

• Launch occurred over 10 years ago!

 

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