NASA Mars Rover Opportunity Update: November 19-28, 2012


image OPPORTUNITY UPDATE: Opportunity Gets To Work On Interesting Rock Targets - sols 3137-3145, Nov. 19, 2012-Nov. 28, 2012:

Opportunity, after completing the local area survey around the location called "Matijevic Hill" (named in honor of Jake Matijevic) at the inboard edge of Cape York on the rim of Endeavour Crater, has started conducting an in-situ (contact) science campaign on some high-value surface targets.

On Sol 3137 (Nov. 19, 2012), Opportunity began her in-situ investigation on the surface target, called "Sandcherry" with a Microscopic Imager (MI) mosaic, followed by the placement of the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS).

The plan on Sol 3139 (Nov. 22, 2012), was the use the Rock Abrasion Tool (RAT) to brush the target. However, the robotic arm experienced a stall in the shoulder elevation joint and stopped all further robotic arm activity. The sequenced APXS measurement on Sol 3140 (Nov. 23, 2012), then fortuitously became an atmospheric argon measurement. The joint stall had been experienced before with Opportunity when slow moves are commanded as in this instance. However, the engineering team did review all the associated telemetry and found no indication of any change in the health of the joint.

As a further step, a diagnostic move was included at the start of the plan on Sol 3144 (Nov. 27, 2012). That diagnostic showed a nominally functioning joint. The subsequent activity on Sol 3144 (Nov. 27, 2012), included a successful RAT brushing of the target followed by a MI mosaic and placement of the APXS. Also, over the last several sols, the rover has been collecting an extensive color panorama (Pancam), called the "Matijevic pan."

As of Sol 3145 (Nov. 28, 2012), the solar array energy production was 559 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.793 and a solar array dust factor of 0.608.

Total odometry is 22.01 miles (35,429.63 meters).

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