Mars Exploration Rover Update - January 28, 2005

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OPPORTUNITY UPDATE: Opportunity Continues on the Plains After Marking
One Year on Mars - sol 353-359, January 28, 2005
After spending 25 sols at the heat shield and nearby meteorite,
Opportunity has completed its investigation of both and has started a
long migration south. The rover is currently heading for a small crater
called "Argo." Dust storms in the vicinity of Meridiani Planum appear
to
be settling down, and solar power has stabilized. On Jan. 24, 2005, the
rover team celebrated Opportunity's first anniversary (one Earth year)
on Mars. The rover continues to be in excellent health for its long
drives out on the plains of Meridiani.
Sol-by-sol summaries:
Sol 353 was a restricted sol. (Results of 352 drive were not known by
the planning team in time to calculate the final heat shield approach).
Opportunity performed over two hours of observations using the
panoramic
camera and miniature thermal emission spectrometer.
On sol 354, Opportunity performed 10 minutes of pre-drive
remote-sensing
observations, then moved forward to get in final position for extending
its instrument deployment device (robotic arm) to the heat shield. A
drive of 0.7 meter (2.3 feet) was successful, placing the heat shield
in
reach of the arm. Opportunity performed more than an hour of post-drive
imaging.
Sol 355 was a restricted sol. Opportunity performed over two hours of
remote sensing.
Sols 356 and 357 were planned in a single planning cycle. On sol 356,
Opportunity used the microscopic imager to examine the heat shield.
Using the arm to position the microscopic imager, Opportunity spent 90
minutes collecting high-resolution images of the heat shield. On sol
357, the rover performed thermal inertia measurements throughout the
sol. Using the miniature thermal emission spectrometer to image the
same
target at different times, Opportunity took measurements as late as
23:00 Mars local solar time.
On sol 358, Opportunity retook some microscopic images of the heat
shield with the dust cover open. The rover then stowed its arm and
began
its drive south, away from the heat shield. Opportunity is now headed
for a small crater called Argo, which is approximately 300 meters
(about
984 feet) away. Opportunity successfully covered 86.3 meters (283 feet)
on this sol.
Sol 359, which ended on Jan. 27, was another restricted sol. The rover
was sent commands for over 2.5 hours of remote sensing.
Total odometry as of sol 358 is 2,200.6 meters (1.37 miles).
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baalke
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