NASA Mars Rover Opportunity Update - January 10-16, 2013

Status Report From: Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Posted: Tuesday, January 22, 2013

OPPORTUNITY UPDATE: Investigating Light-toned Veins in Rock Outcrop - sols 3187-3193, Jan. 10, 2013-Jan. 16, 2013:

Opportunity is on the inboard edge of "Cape York" on the rim of Endeavour Crater, now engaged in in-situ (contact) science investigation of veins in the light-toned outcrop "Whitewater Lake," a place the rover visited previously.

On Sol 3187 (Jan. 10, 2013), the rover bumped a little over a meter to reach the vein targets in the outcrop, named "Ortiz." On Sol 3189 (Jan. 12, 2013), Opportunity, using her robotic arm, collected a large Microscopic Imager (MI) mosaic of the vein targets. This was followed by the placement of the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) for an overnight integration. On Sol 3191 (Jan. 14, 2013), the rover collected more MI mosaics of a target offset from the first and completed this with placing the APXS on the new target.

Opportunity started exhibiting memory symptoms this month similar to events seen with Spirit in 2009. This is not a health and safety concern, but can cause loss of some data intended for downlink. It can be avoided for more important data by downlinking before any rover nap. The suspect cause is corruption in the flash file system used by the rover for non-volatile telemetry storage. The project implemented a detection diagnostic on Sol 3189 (Jan. 12, 2013) to flag the occurrence of these events in separate non-volatile memory. No events have occurred since Sol 3183 (Jan. 6, 2013), and the rover remains in good health.

As of Sol 3193 (Jan. 16, 2013), the solar array energy production was 498 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 1.08 and a solar array dust factor of 0.623.

Total odometry is 22.03 miles (35455.34 meters).

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