Mars Exploration Rover Update #2 - September 22, 2006
OPPORTUNITY UPDATE: Nearly There! - sol 941-946, September 22, 2006:
Opportunity is healthy and very near "Victoria Crater." The rover spent its week completing an alpha particle X-ray spectrometer observation of rock target "Cape Faraday," successfully booting its new flight software and exercising its mobility functions.
Opportunity is currently a little over 45 meters (148 feet) away from Victoria Crater's "Duck Bay" - a point on Victoria's vast rim. Once the team has verified that the new onboard flight software is stable, Opportunity will drive out to Duck Bay. This location is expected to provide Opportunity a spectacular view of the crater's interior.
Sol-by-sol summaries:
Sol 941 (Sept. 16, 2006): In the morning, the panoramic camera imaged areas of the sky and looked for clouds. The miniature thermal emission spectrometer observed the sky and ground. Opportunity completed several panoramic camera assessments of the clarity of the atmosphere. The panoramic camera also surveyed the ground and imaged the soil target "Dellinbaugh," within the crater dubbed "Emma Dean." Parameters for the robotic arm were tested with the new flight software. The alpha particle X-ray spectrometer completed an observation of Cape Faraday.
Sol 942: This morning, the rover's panoramic camera imaged parts of the Martian sky and the miniature thermal emission spectrometer collected data from the sky and ground. Opportunity assessed the clarity of the atmosphere with a panoramic camera "tau" measurement. That camera also imaged the rover magnets to monitor dust and had a look at the horizon. The miniature thermal emission spectrometer completed a sky and ground observation and checked its calibration target. Before the communications pass with NASA's Mars Odyssey orbiter, the rover completed another tau measurement. During the pass, the miniature thermal emission spectrometer was used.
Sol 943: Opportunity drove about 35 meters (115 feet), paused and took a mid-drive navigation camera mosaic of the crater dubbed "Kitty Clyde's Sister." The rover then drove another 25 meters (82 feet) and took images with the hazard avoidance cameras. After the drive, the navigation camera and panoramic camera took images from the rover's new location. The panoramic camera was also used this sol to image parts of the sky and the miniature thermal emission spectrometer took measurements of the sky and ground.
Sol 944: This sol was dedicated to booting flight software and ensuring that imaging and data-product parameters were functioning properly with the new software.
Sol 945: This sol was used to update mobility parameters for the new flight software. Some remote sensing science was completed.
Sol 946 (Sept. 21, 2006): The rover performed remote sensing science.
As of sol 943 (Sept. 18, 2006) Opportunity's odometry total is 9,192.05 meters (5.71 miles).
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