Mars Exploration Rover Update - May 25, 2004

http://marsrovers.jpl.nasa.gov/mission/status.html
OPPORTUNITY UPDATE: Opportunity on the Edge - sol 115-116, May 25, 2004
On Sol 115 Opportunity drove 11.7 meters (38.4 feet), coming to rest about 3 meters (10 feet) from the edge of "Endurance Crater," as intended. Rover planners had commanded Opportunity to go 10 centimeters (3.9 inches) farther, but the rover decided to stop when it "saw" the edge of the crater in the navigation camera images. This was actually a more conservative response than necessary, as it would have been safe to complete the drive. Rover planners are looking into changing the way they send commands to prevent this over-conservatism next time.
Opportunity used its navigation camera to acquire images showing its proximity to the crater. On Sol 116 Opportunity turned slightly to the right and crept a little closer to the edge of Endurance Crater to get into just the right position to set up camp for a few sols. The rover executed this 1.5 meter (4.9 feet) traverse as planned, ending up facing northwest with a total tilt of about 8 degrees pitched "nose-up". From this position, Opportunity will make many observations with the panoramic camera and mini thermal emission spectrometer to fully characterize the parts of the crater that can be seen from here. Opportunity now sits only about 1 meter from the edge of the crater, and there is a sloping drop-off of about 40 degrees dead ahead.
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I am sure it's just a funny coincidence, but just the same- thanks for the great microscopic soil shots from Spirit. Sol 141, first five pictures are pretty good. The rest are too blurry to get much useful data from, but I can't complain. Once again, thanks.
Cheers!
Sir Charles W. Shults III
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