OPPORTUNITY UPDATE: Opportunity Prepares for Curiosity's Arrival! - sols 3023-3029, July 25, 2012 - August 01, 2012:
Opportunity has been roving at the north end of Cape York on the rim of Endeavour Crater. However, activity will be constrained for the period ahead as Opportunity prepares for the arrival of Curiosity.
The project is preplanning nine day or sols of activity around the landing time of Curiosity, so as not to require Deep Space Network tracking antenna coverage. On Sol 3024 (July 26, 2012), Opportunity drove just over 20 feet (6 meters) to position for some surface targets at the feature called "Whim Creek." On Sol 3025 (July 27, 2012), the rover collected an atmospheric argon measurement with the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS). On Sol 3027 (July 29, 2012), the robotic arm was used to collect a Microscopic Imager (MI) mosaic of the surface target, called "Rushall," followed by the placement of the APXS for a multi-sol surface integration.
On Sol 3028 (July 31, 2012), Opportunity served as a trial horse for possible direct detection at Earth of Curiosity's Ultra High Frequency (UHF) signal during landing with the Parkes Radio Observatory in Australia. Opportunity transmitted a UHF signal configured as Curiosity's UHF will be at landing. The Parkes antenna was able to detect the Opportunity test signal and will be now be listening during Curiosity's landing.
As of Sol 3022 (July 24, 2012), the solar array energy production was 547 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.642 and a solar array dust factor of 0.720.
Total odometry is 21.52 miles (34,639.45 meters).