NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory California Institute of Technology JPL HOME EARTH SOLAR SYSTEM STARS & GALAXIES SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY JPL Email News RSS Mobile Video
Follow this link to skip to the main content
JPL banner - links to JPL and CalTech
left nav graphic Overview Science Technology The Mission People Spotlights Events Multimedia All Mars
Mars for Kids
Mars for Students
Mars for Educators
Mars for Press
+ Mars Home
+ Rovers Home
image link to mission page
image link to summary page
link to Rover update page
Spirit Archive
Opportunity Archive
Where are they now?
month in review
image link to mission team
image link to launch vehicle
image link to spacecraft
link to mission timeline page
communications to earth
Opportunity Updates

M I S S I O N     M A N A G E R S   
Scott Lever, Mission manager Mike Seibert, Mission manager Al Herrera, Mission manager
Scott Lever Mike Seibert Al Herrera
P R E V I O U S    M I S S I O N    M A N A G E R S
Matt Keuneke, Mission Manager Cindy Oda, Mission Manager Rich Morris, Mission Manager Bill Nelson, Mission manager
Matt Keuneke Cindy Oda Richard Morris Bill Nelson
Byron Jones, Mission Manager Mark Adler, Mission Manager Leo Bister, Mission manager Beth Dewell, Mission Manager
Byron Jones Mark Adler Leo Bister Beth Dewell
Emily Eelkema, Mission Manager Jeff Favretto, Mission Manager Soina Ghandchi, Mission Manager Andy Mishkin, Mission Manager
Emily Eelkema Jeff Favretto Saina Ghandchi Andy Mishkin
Art Thompson, Mission Manager Rick Welch, Mission Manager Colette Lohr, Mission Manager Dan Gaines, Mission Manager
Art Thompson Rick Welch Colette Lohr Dan Gaines

2004  | 2005  | 2006  | 2007  | 2008  | 2009  | 2010  | 2011  | 2012
 

sol 1029-1037, December 22, 2006: Opportunity Continues to Look for Entry Point into 'Victoria Crater'

Opportunity is healthy and continues to gather data in search of a potential future entry point into "Victoria Crater." The rover is traversing the crater rim near an alcove known as "Bottomless Bay," assessing whether it might eventually serve as an entry point, and collecting images of the crater's interior cliffs.

On Dec. 17, 2006, the rover's 1030th sol, or Martian day on Mars, Opportunity began testing software to enable autonomous placement of the robotic arm and scientific instruments on targets of scientific interest.

Between sols 1029 (Dec. 16, 2006) and 1034 (Dec. 21, 2006), Opportunity drove 41 meters (135 feet).

Sol-by-sol summary:

Sol 1029 (Dec. 16, 2006): Opportunity measured atmospheric dust, acquired navigation camera and panoramic camera images of Bottomless Bay, scanned the sky and ground with the miniature thermal emission spectrometer, and acquired panoramic images of points of scientific interest known as "Malua," "Timor" and "Cebu."

Sol 1030: Opportunity measured atmospheric dust, performed step No. 3 of the autonomous placement sequence for the robotic arm, acquired forward-looking images following the day's drive, scanned the sky for clouds with the navigation camera, and surveyed the sky, ground, and external calibration target using the miniature thermal emission spectrometer.

Sol 1031: Opportunity measured atmospheric dust, scanned the sky for clouds, and surveyed the sky and ground with the miniature thermal emission spectrometer.

Sol 1032: Following the day's drive, Opportunity acquired images of the surrounding area, including rearward-looking views, using the navigation camera. Opportunity measured atmospheric dust and surveyed the horizon with the miniature thermal emission spectrometer.

Sol 1033: Opportunity measured atmospheric dust, performed step No. 2 of the sequence for autonomous placement of the robotic arm, surveyed the sky and ground with the miniature thermal emission spectrometer, and acquired panoramic camera images looking southwest at Bottomless Bay.

Sol 1034: Following another day's drive, Opportunity acquired rearward-looking and forward-looking images of surrounding terrain using the navigation camera. Opportunity measured atmospheric dust, surveyed the sky and ground with the miniature thermal emission spectrometer, and acquired images of the sky using the panoramic camera.

Sol 1035: Plans call for Opportunity to measure atmospheric dust, use the rock abrasion tool to brush the surface of a rock target known as "Rio de Janeiro," and acquire post-brush microscopic images of the dust-free surface. The rover is then to collect data about the rock using the alpha-particle X-ray spectrometer, survey the sky at high sun using the panoramic camera, and scan the sky and ground with the miniature thermal emission spectrometer.

Sol 1036: Plans call for Opportunity to measure atmospheric dust and acquire a full-color, 13-filter mosaic of Rio de Janeiro using the panoramic camera and to study the outcrop with the Mössbauer spectrometer. The rover is instructed to scan the sky, ground, and points of scientific interest known as "Catalonia," "Valencia," Andalucia," "Aragon," "Asturia," "Cantabria" and "Basque," as well as the rover's external calibration target, using the miniature thermal emission spectrometer.

Sol 1037 (Dec. 24, 2006): Plans call for Opportunity to measure atmospheric dust and acquire a full-color, 13-filter mosaic of Bottomless Bay using the panoramic camera. Opportunity is to survey the sky, ground, external calibration target, and scientific targets nicknamed "Murcia," "Navarra," "Catalonia" and "Valencia" using the miniature thermal emission spectrometer, and to scan the sky for clouds.

Odometry:

As of sol 1034 (Dec. 21, 2006), Opportunity's total odometry was 9,758 meters (6.1 miles).


sol 1022-1028, December 18, 2006: Opportunity Looks for Entry Point into Crater

Opportunity is healthy and driving toward "Bottomless Bay" to gather data on whether this would be a suitable future entry point into "Victoria Crater." The rover will continue traversing the crater rim and collecting images of the cliff walls.

On Dec. 6, 2006, corresponding to the 1020th sol, or Martian day, of Opportunity's mission on the surface of Mars, NASA's Mars Odyssey orbiter entered safe mode, a protective state during which only those systems vital to the orbiter's health continue to operate. Odyssey provides the relay communications link for most data received from the Opportunity and Spirit rovers. Rover handlers responded to the temporary unavailability of Odyssey by planning only one sol of driving and limiting remote sensing activities until the orbiter returned to normal relay mode on Opportunity's sol 1026 (Dec. 12, 2006).

Between sols 1021 (Dec. 7, 2006) and 1027 (Dec. 13, 2006), Opportunity drove 84 meters (276 feet).

Sol-by-sol summaries:

Sol 1022 (Dec. 8, 2006): Opportunity took backward-looking panoramic images, monitored the rover mast for dust, acquired thumbnail panoramic images of the sky, and measured atmospheric dust.

Sol 1023: Opportunity measured atmospheric dust and acquired forward-looking images using the panoramic camera, acquired images to accompany surveys by the miniature thermal emission spectrometer using the navigation camera, and scanned the sky and ground using the miniature thermal emission spectrometer. The rover monitored atmospheric dust at sunset, measured atmospheric density of argon gas with the alpha-particle X-ray spectrometer, and scanned the sky for clouds with the navigation camera.

Sol 1024: Opportunity measured atmospheric dust with the panoramic camera, scanned the sky and ground with the miniature thermal emission spectrometer, and acquired panoramic camera images of the work volume to be examined using the instruments on the rover's robotic arm.

Sol 1025: Opportunity measured atmospheric dust with the panoramic camera, surveyed the sky and ground with the miniature thermal emission spectrometer, scanned the sky for clouds with the navigation camera, and acquired thumbnail images of the sky using the panoramic camera.

Sol 1026: Opportunity measured atmospheric dust with the panoramic camera, surveyed the horizon with the miniature thermal emission spectrometer, scanned the sky for clouds with the navigation camera, and acquired thumbnail images of the sky using the panoramic camera.

Sol 1027: Opportunity measured atmospheric dust with the panoramic camera, drove 30 meters (98 feet), acquired navigation camera images of the area ahead, and acquired post-drive panoramic camera images and atmospheric dust measurements. The rover surveyed the sky and ground with the miniature thermal emission spectrometer and scanned the sky for clouds with the navigation camera.

Sol 1028 (Dec. 14, 2006): Opportunity measured atmospheric dust with the panoramic camera, drove 40 meters (131 feet), took post-drive navigation camera images, monitored the rover mast for dust, and surveyed the sky and ground with the miniature thermal emission spectrometer.

Odometry:

As of sol 1027 (Dec. 13, 2006), Opportunity's total odometry was 9,669 meters (6.01 miles).


sol 1016-1021, December 07, 2006: Opportunity's Odometer Reaches Six-Mile Mark at 'Bottomless Bay'

Opportunity is healthy and wrapping up imaging of "Bottomless Bay" (Bahia sin Fondo) at "Victoria Crater."

On Sol 1016, Opportunity arrived at Bottomless Bay and began making science observations. Opportunity also performed step one of a series of checkouts of its new capability for more autonomous assessment of where it is safe to place its robotic arm. This test did not involve any arm motion.

On Sol 1018, the alpha particle X-ray spectrometer measured the atmosphere's argon density. While pointed at the atmosphere, the instrument was turned on and left integrating for almost three hours. With the temperature and argon density in hand, scientists can calculate what percentage of the atmosphere at the rover site is argon. By doing measurements of this nature, scientists can get a better understanding of how atmospheric gases mix between the poles and the equator.

On Sols 1019, 1020 and 1021 Opportunity was busy completing photography of Bottomless Bay.

Sol-by-sol summaries:

Daily, Opportunity completes science observations that include: tau (atmospheric clarity) measurements with the panoramic camera, cloud searches with the navigation camera, and stares at the sky and ground with the miniature thermal emission spectrometer.

Sol 1016 (Dec. 2, 2006): Opportunity drove for two hours, adding 30 meters (98 feet) onto its drive toward Bottomless Bay. The rover then took a navigation camera mosaic in the drive direction and completed step one of checking the capability for autonomous placement of the robotic arm.

Sol 1017: Opportunity used part of this sol to conduct the daily science observations and then used the rest of the sol to recharge.

Sol 1018: The rover examined the ground in front of it with the panoramic camera and the miniature thermal emission spectrometer. Those instruments were also used to monitor dust accumulation on the solar panels. The alpha particle X-ray spectrometer began a 2.5-hour argon density measurement.

Sol 1019: The panoramic camera took images for the first half of a stereo mosaic of Bottomless Bay. Opportunity then turned so it would be in a better position for communication.

Sol 1020: Opportunity used part of this sol to conduct the daily science observations and then used the rest of the sol to recharge.

Sol 1021 (Dec. 7, 2006): The rover took a 2-meter (6.6 feet) drive along Bottomless Bay and the panoramic camera took the second half of the stereo mosaic of Bottomless Bay.

As of sol 1016's drive, Opportunity's total odometry is 9,584.69 meters (6 miles)!


sol 1002-1015, December 04, 2006: Opportunity Tests New Driving Software and Helps Its Sister Spacecraft

Opportunity is healthy and making progress imaging "Victoria Crater." Sol 1002 began with a short drive to the edge of "Cape St. Mary" in order to take better images of the northeast side of "Cape Verde."

On Sols 1005 and 1006 (Nov. 21 and 22, 2006), Opportunity participated in efforts to recover communications with NASA's Mars Global Surveyor orbiter, which had not communicated with Earth for more than two weeks at that point. Mars Global Surveyor was sent a command in the blind to try to communicate with Opportunity via their UHF radios on each of these two sols. Alas, Opportunity never received any signal from the orbiter on either attempt.

On Sol 1009, Opportunity departed Cape St. Mary and headed toward a point overlooking "Bottomless Bay" (Bahia sin Fondo) more than 100 meters (328 feet) away. Drives on sols 1009, 1012 and 1014 added about 80 meters (262 feet) in the direction of Bottomless Bay.

On Sol 1013, Opportunity added to the rapidly growing list of simultaneous, multi-spacecraft science observations with a coordinated overflight by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter of the area around Opportunity. At a predetermined time, that orbiter's remote sensing instruments took measurements in the vicinity of Opportunity while Opportunity took "ground truth" measurements of the atmosphere and ground.

Sol 1014's drive included the first step in a series of checkouts of the rover's new "D-star" drive capability. This was added to create a more capable autonomous navigation system. The benefits include better hazard-avoidance capability, less user intervention and longer hazard-avoidance traverses per sol.

Sol-by-sol summaries:

Sol 1002 (Nov. 18, 2006): The rover drove 1.04 meters (3.41 feet), then conducted remote sensing of Cape Verde.

Sol 1003: Opportunity conducted untargeted remote sensing.

Sol 1004: Opportunity conducted untargeted remote sensing.

Sol 1005: The rover used its panoramic camera to collect images for a mosaic of Cape Verde. This was the first sol during which Opportunity attempted to hear from Mars Global Surveyor.

Sol 1006: This sol was the second attempt to use Opportunity to receive a signal from Mars Global Surveyor. The rover also did targeted remote sensing.

Sol 1007: Opportunity conducted targeted remote sensing.

Sol 1008: Opportunity conducted untargeted remote sensing.

Sol 1009: The rover drove 43.7 meters (143.4 feet) away from Cape St. Mary toward Bottomless Bay.

Sol 1010: Opportunity conducted untargeted remote sensing.

Sol 1011: Opportunity conducted untargeted remote sensing.

Sol 1012: The rover drove 14.5 meters (48 feet) toward Bottomless Bay.

Sol 1013: The rover conducted remote sensing and did coordinated science observations with the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.

Sol 1014: Opportunity drove about 22 meters (72 feet) toward Bottomless Bay. The new "D-star" driving software was tested.

Sol 1015 (Dec. 1, 2006): Opportunity did untargeted remote science.

After the drive on sol 1014, Opportunity's total odometery is 9,555 meters (5.94 miles).


sol 996-1001, December 01, 2006: Passing the 1,000-Sol Mark

Opportunity is healthy and is driving to the promontory called "Cape St. Mary." From that vantage point, Opportunity will photograph the sedimentary layers in the northeast-facing cliff of "Cape Verde," thus completing the imaging of both sides of the promontory in order to see the continuity of the layers. Opportunity continues to take long-baseline stereo images around the crater approximately every 10 meters (33 feet) in order to eventually acquire a detailed three-dimensional map of the crater. Opportunity drove about 33 meters (108 feet) on sol 994.

This week Opportunity is also celebrating its 1,000th sol anniversary of landing!

Sol-by-sol summaries:

Sol 996 (Nov. 12, 2006): Opportunity took a tau (atmospheric clarity) measurement before its communication window with NASA's Mars Odyssey spacecraft. The rover also took a tau measurement at sunset. Since a lot of data were onboard Opportunity, several sols during this period were light on science in order to free up some of the rover's flash memory.

Sol 997: The rover took two tau measurements this sol.

Sol 998: The rover took two tau measurements this sol.

Sol 999: Opportunity took a tau measurement, then headed toward the Cape St. Mary promontory. In the middle of that 7.5-meter (25-foot) drive, the rover conducted a panoramic camera baseline test. After the drive, the rover took images with its navigation camera. During the Odyssey pass, the miniature thermal emission spectrometer completed an examination of the area in front of the rover.

Sol 1000: In the morning, the rover's panoramic camera took thumbnail images of the sky. The miniature thermal emission spectrometer observed sky and ground. Opportunity also took a tau measurement and used its panoramic camera to survey the sun.

Sol 1001: In the morning, Opportunity looked for clouds and looked down at its solar panels to monitor dust accumulation. The miniature thermal emission spectrometer was busy assessing the ground and sky while the panoramic camera surveyed the ground in front of the rover. Several tau measurements were taken.

As of sol 1,000 (Nov. 16, 2006), Opportunity's total odometry is 9,473 meters (5.89 miles).


sol 968-995, November 13, 2006: Opportunity on the Move after Solar Conjunction

Opportunity is healthy and has driven away from the "Cape Verde" promontory for further exploration around the rim of "Victoria Crater." Over the course of the next week, the rover will make its way clockwise around Victoria Crater to the next promontory, "Cape St. Mary." Opportunity will then image the northeast-facing cliff of Cape Verde to characterize lateral changes in layers of the crater wall. Along the way, Opportunity will be using the panoramic camera to scout a safe place to drive into the crater.

During the drive on Sol 992, rover planners performed the first step of the in-flight checkout of one of the rover's new technologies: visual target tracking (VTT). This first checkout included picking a target to track, driving, and testing the rover's knowledge of how its position changed relative to the target. The rover performed this activity as planned. The next step will be to execute a drive to a VTT target.

During the solar conjunction period from sol 970 to sol 984 (Oct. 16 to 30), Opportunity used its panoramic camera to image Victoria Crater from the Cape Verde promontory, collected 3.5 hours of Mössbauer spectrometer data each sol on the hole that the rock abrasion tool drilled at target "Cha," and performed its standard sol-to-sol atmospheric and remote sensing observations. Opportunity collected more than 50 hours of Mössbauer data on Cha.

Sol-by-sol summary:

In addition to Opportunity's daily science observations (checking atmospheric clarity with the panoramic camera, monitoring for clouds with the navigation camera, and observing sky and ground with the miniature thermal emission spectrometer), the rover performed the following activities:

Sol 968 (Oct. 14, 2006): The rover planning team made room in flash memory for data to be collected during solar conjunction.

Sol 969: More room in the flash memory was freed during this sol.

Sols 970 to 984 (conjunction): The rover took images for a panorama of the view from Cape Verde and conducted Mössbauer spectrometer integration on target Cha.

Sol 985: The rover took images for the Cape Verde panorama.

Sol 986: Opportunity continued to work on the Cape Verde panorama and used the Mössbauer spectrometer on target Cha.

Sol 987: Opportunity retransmitted and deleted data left from solar conjunction.

Sol 988: There was more Mössbauer activity on Cha, use of the miniature thermal emission spectrometer, and retransmission and deletion of data from conjunction.

Sol 989: Opportunity did more Mössbauer spectrometer observations on Cha and used its miniature thermal emission spectrometer.

Sol 990: Opportunity did more Mössbauer spectrometer observations on Cha and used its miniature thermal emission spectrometer.

Sol 991: On this sol, Opportunity finished acquiring the Cape Verde panoramic image.

Sol 992: The rover drove toward Cape St. Mary and tested its visual target tracking function.

Sol 993: Opportunity took images of the crater with its panoramic camera.

Sol 994: The rover drove toward Cape St. Mary.

Sol 995 (Nov. 11, 2006): Opportunity used its panoramic camera to image the crater.

Odometry:

Opportunity's total odometry as of sol 992 (Nov. 8, 2006) is 9,432 meters (5.86 miles).


sol 954-960, October 16, 2006: On the Promontory

Opportunity is healthy and perched at the tip of the promontory "Cape Verde," 3.1 meters (10.2 feet) from the edge of a sharp drop off on the rim of "Victoria Crater." Soon after arriving at Victoria Crater's "Duck Bay" last week, Opportunity was sent on its way to Cape Verde. Six sols, four drives and 127.61 meters (419 feet) later, Opportunity arrived at the rock target "Fogo" near the tip of Cape Verde.

Along the way, Opportunity made remote-sensing observations including a panorama from Duck Bay, imagery of Cape Verde and atmospheric science.

On Sol 957 (Oct. 3, 2006) Opportunity performed a coordinated observation with NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO). MRO imagery included a picture of Opportunity itself! The image was taken with MRO's HiRISE (High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment) camera, the highest-resolution camera ever to orbit Mars.

Sol-by-sol summary:

Sol 954 (Sept. 30, 2006): The navigation camera had a look at the skies, searching for clouds. The panoramic camera gauged atmospheric clarity (a "tau" measurement). The panoramic camera was then used to take a mosaic image of "Duck Bay 2." The miniature thermal emission spectrometer was put to work to scan the target "Cape Verde Maio". The afternoon included another panoramic camera tau measurement.

Sol 955: The morning of this sol saw the panoramic camera imaging target Cape Verde Maio. The rover also assessed the clarity of the atmosphere. The robotic arm was then stowed and the rover drove 55.71 meters (183 feet) toward Cape Verde. After the drive, the rover took images with its hazard avoidance cameras, panoramic camera and navigation camera, and unstowed its arm.

Sol 956: In the morning, Opportunity used its panoramic camera to survey the sky. A measurement of atmospheric clarity was taken by the panoramic camera, and the navigation camera spied for clouds. More remote sensing was conducted before the Mars Odyssey communication window. During that window, the rover examined points in the sky and on the ground with its miniature thermal emission spectrometer.

Sol 957: The rover was busy this morning, using its navigation and panoramic cameras to survey the sky. The miniature thermal emission spectrometer was also used to scan the sky and ground. Opportunity assessed the clarity of the atmosphere with a tau measurement and then stowed its robotic arm. The rover drove 42.17 meters (138 feet) toward Cape Verde, took hazard avoidance camera images, then unstowed its arm and took navigation and panoramic camera images. A tau measurement was taken with the panoramic camera before an overflight by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. In coordination with observations by that orbiter, Opportunity's cameras were busy imaging and the miniature thermal emission spectrometer assessed the sky and ground. To end the sol, the panoramic camera made another tau measurement.

Sol 958: The rover monitored its dust level this morning and looked for clouds with its navigation camera. The miniature thermal emission spectrometer was then used to assess the sky and ground. A tau measurement was taken and then a 23.01 meter (75.5 feet) drive commenced, toward Cape Verde. The rover then did post-drive imaging. In coordination with observations by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, Opportunity took another tau measurement and did albedo measurements.

Sol 959: On this sol, Opportunity began the day by scanning for clouds with its navigation camera and taking thumbnail images with its panoramic camera. A panoramic camera tau measurement was taken and then the rover drove 6.72 meters (22 feet) to the target Fogo at Cape Verde. Post-drive imaging was done and a tau measurement taken. During the communication window with Mars Odyssey, the miniature thermal emission spectrometer observed the sky and ground.

Sol 960 (Oct. 6, 2006): In the morning of this sol, the navigation camera looked for clouds and the miniature thermal emission spectrometer observed the sky and ground. Opportunity then took a tau measurement and used the miniature thermal emission spectrometer to assess dunes, the sky and the ground. Another panoramic camera tau measurement was taken. During the communication window with Mars Odyssey, the miniature thermal emission spectrometer was used again to assess the dunes.

Odometry:

As of sol 959 (Oct. 5, 2006), Opportunity's total odometery was 9,406.95 meters (5.85 miles).


sol 947-953, September 29, 2006: A View Worth Waiting For!

Opportunity is healthy and sitting at the rim of "Victoria Crater"! After traveling 9,279.34 meters (5.77 miles) in 952 sols the team is rewarded by some of the most spectacular views seen on this mission. The week began with a checkout of basic mobility functions using the new flight software: arc, turn, go-to-waypoint and visual odometry. Also checked were a few of the mobility test criteria such as the time-of-day limits, suspension limits and a new capability for keep-out zones (areas deemed too dangerous to rove). Later in the week, Opportunity drove 60.1 meters (197 feet) over three sols to our current location at the top of "Duck Bay."

Sol-by-sol summaries:

Sol 947 (Sept. 22, 2006): Opportunity's panoramic camera took 13-filter, quarter-frame images of the targets "Macaroni" and "Rockhopper," and a mosaic of images of "Kitty Clyde's Sister." During the afternoon communication-relay pass by NASA's Mars Odyssey orbiter, the miniature thermal emission spectrometer was used to evaluate Macaroni and Rockhopper. The navigation camera checked for clouds and the panoramic camera assessed the clarity of the atmosphere with a tau measurement.

Sol 948: The morning of this sol, the rover monitored dust buildup and targeted the sky and ground with its miniature thermal emission spectrometer. Opportunity executed a series of mobility tests to check out the new version of its flight software. Post-drive imaging included 360-degree view by the navigation camera and an image mosaic by the panoramic camera.

Sol 949: In the morning of this sol, the panoramic camera imaged the sky and measured for atmospheric clarity. The navigation camera looked for clouds and the miniature thermal emission spectrometer did a sky and ground measurement. This sol contained un-targeted remote sensing because it was the third of a three-sol plan. The panoramic camera continued to be busy, taking another tau measurement and sky images. Before the Odyssey pass, the navigation camera took images of the sky (called "sky flats") for calibration purposes. During the Odyssey pass, Opportunity used its miniature thermal emission spectrometer.

Sol 950: Opportunity used part of the morning block of this sol to take a panoramic camera tau measurement and to look for clouds with its navigation camera. It also shot images of the sky with the panoramic camera and observed the sky and ground with its miniature thermal emission spectrometer. The rover completed another panoramic camera tau measurement before it drove 30.2 meters (99 feet) toward Victoria Crater's rim. Post-drive imaging included hazard avoidance camera imaging, a panoramic camera mosaic and a navigation camera 360-degree image.

Sol 951: This morning, Opportunity used its panoramic camera to survey the sky. The rover then took a panoramic camera tau measurement, drove 26.4 meters (87 feet) toward Duck Bay and completed post-drive imaging, including navigation and panoramic camera mosaics. The navigation camera looked for clouds and the panoramic camera imaged the sky.

Sol 952: Opportunity used its miniature thermal emission spectrometer to measure the sky and ground. The rover took pre-drive panoramic camera and navigation camera images. Opportunity drove 3.5 meters (11.5 feet) toward the rim's edge, then took a navigation camera mosaic. There was a post-drive navigation camera cloud observation before the rover shut down for the afternoon. Before the Odyssey pass, the panoramic camera made a tau measurement and the miniature thermal emission spectrometer measured the sky and ground during the orbiter's pass. The panoramic camera took a sunset tau measurement.

Sol 953 (Sept. 29, 2006): In the morning of this sol, the panoramic camera imaged the sky, the navigation camera looked for clouds and the miniature thermal emission spectrometer measured the sky and ground. This sol is the first of two sols of targeted remote sensing in Duck Bay before Opportunity will drive off to "Cape Verde." The rover is at its closest approach to Victoria Crater and it has an incredible view! The plan for the remainder of this sol is to: take a panoramic camera tau measurement, look for clouds with the navigation camera, take a navigation camera mosaic in the drive direction, and take part one of a large panoramic camera panorama. The miniature thermal emission spectrometer will take a vertical scan of "Cabo Frio" during the Odyssey pass. The plan also calls for another navigation camera scan for clouds and a panoramic camera 13-filter examination of Cabo Frio to support the miniature thermal emission spectrometer in the morning of sol 954.

As of sol 952 (Sept. 27, 2006), Opportunity's total odometry is 9,279.34 meters (5.77 miles).


sol 941-946, September 22, 2006: Nearly There!

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).


sol 936-940, September 15, 2006: Grinding into 'Cape Faraday'

Opportunity is healthy and is currently driving toward "Victoria Crater," which is a little over 100 meters (328 feet) away. On sol 936 (Sept. 11, 2006), a short bump was made to a robotic arm rock target called "Cape Faraday" near the crater "Emma Dean." Opportunity drove 1.45 meters (4.8 feet) between sols 936-940.

Sol-by-sol summaries:

Sol 936 (Sept. 11, 2006): The morning of this sol saw the rover monitoring the amount of dust on itself using the panoramic mast assembly. Opportunity completed a panoramic camera tau, assessing the clarity of the sky. The rover then bumped to the robotic arm target at Emma Dean Crater and took a panoramic camera image of the arm's work area. Another measurement was done before the Mars Odyssey pass. During the pass, Opportunity used the miniature thermal emission spectrometer and had a look at that instrument's calibration target.

Sol 937: Opportunity used the morning to examine certain points in the sky with its panoramic camera and miniature thermal emission spectrometer. The miniature thermal emission spectrometer took measurements of the sky and ground, and the instrument's calibration targets were examined.

Sol 938: Opportunity completed another assessment of the clarity of the sky. The rover used its miniature thermal emission spectrometer to measure points on the sky and ground and used its navigation camera to search for clouds. The rover's miniature thermal emission spectrometer had a look at targets "Thompson" and "Jones."

Sol 939: The rover did another assessment of the sky, a tau measurement. The rover used its microscopic imager to snap a photo of Cape Faraday before grinding. The rock abrasion tool ground into the target and the microscopic imager took the "after" shot. The panoramic camera took images in the rover's driving direction. The alpha particle X-ray spectrometer was used after the Odyssey pass.

Sol 940 (Sept. 15, 2005): On this morning, Opportunity used its panoramic camera to examine targets in the sky and used the miniature thermal emission spectrometer to look at the sky and ground. The rover examined Cape Faraday with the Mössbauer spectrometer, and took a look at the rock "Beaman" with the miniature thermal emission spectrometer. During the Odyssey pass, the rover investigated the miniature thermal emission spectrometer calibration target.

As of sol 936, (Sept. 11, 2006) Opportunity's total odometry was 9130.29 meters (5.67 miles)


sol 928-935, September 12, 2006: Finishing Up Scuff Work and Heading for 'Emma Dean'

Opportunity is healthy and just over 100 meters (328 feet) from "Victoria Crater." The rover completed robotic arm work on a scuff mark it made on sol 919. On sol 929 (Sept. 4, 2006), Opportunity almost got a hole-in-one by driving 100.31 meters (329 feet) to the small crater "Emma Dean." The rover arrived just 5 meters (16 feet) short of Emma Dean. On sol 931 the rover photographed the bit of the rock abrasion tool (RAT) to help engineers estimate how many more grinds might be possible with the tool. The hazard avoidance camera took several high-resolution images at different angles. The RAT engineers are examining them to see how much "bite" is left in the RAT. Also on sol 931, a short bump to an ejecta rock was attempted in the hopes of grinding it. Another bump (tentatively scheduled for sol 937) will have to be attempted before the rover can actually grind it. The remainder of the week had Opportunity acquiring remote-sensing science at Emma Dean.

Following the robotic arm campaign at Emma Dean, Opportunity will continue its drive to Victoria Crater.

Sol-by-sol summaries:

Sol 928 (Sept. 3, 2006): Opportunity used the microscopic imager on the robotic arm to look at scuff-mark targets "Powell" and "Powell's Brother." The rover also used the alpha particle X-ray spectrometer on Powell's Brother. The miniature thermal emission spectrometer was also used on this sol.

Sol 929: The rover bumped back this sol and used its panoramic camera. It also drove forward toward the small crater referred to as Emma Dean. The rover also took some post-drive images.

Sol 930: This sol consisted of untargeted remote sensing.

Sol 931: Opportunity bumped to a rover arm target at Emma Dean and conducted untargeted remote sensing.

Sol 932: The rover conducted untargeted remote sensing.

Sol 933: Opportunity conducted targeted remote sensing.

Sol 934: Opportunity conducted targeted remote sensing.

Sol 935 (Sept. 10, 2006): Opportunity conducted targeted remote sensing.

As of sol 931 (Sept. 6, 2006), Opportunity's total odometry was 9,128.84 meters (5.67 miles).


sol 920-927, September 1, 2006: Inching Closer to 'Victoria'

Opportunity is healthy and still 218 meters (715 feet) from "Victoria Crater." Over the weekend, the rover's shoulder azimuth joint stalled as Opportunity was trying to start measurements on a trench it dug on Sol 919 (Aug. 25, 2006). Consequently, all weekend arm activities were aborted, but remote science activities were executed as planned.

Beginning on Sol 923, rover arm diagnostic measurements were taken as well as some remote sensing science. Results from the diagnostics revealed neither cause nor any damage to the stalled joint. On Sol 924, the arm performed flawlessly as Opportunity successfully completed the activities originally planned for Sol 920. On Sols 925, 926 and 927 Opportunity collected more arm diagnostics (to ensure the stow before drive would go smoothly) as well as completing all arm activities originally planned over the weekend.

Sol-by-sol summaries:

Sol 920 (Aug. 26, 2006): Opportunity did a miniature thermal emission spectrometer observation and other activities were aborted due to the arm stall.

Sol 921: The rover took a panoramic camera image.

Sol 922: Opportunity used its panoramic camera and miniature thermal emission spectrometer.

Sol 923: The rover conducted arm diagnostics and took panoramic camera and miniature thermal emission spectrometer observations.

Sol 924: Completing the activities originally planned for sol 920, Opportunity took a microscopic image and did an alpha particle X-ray spectrometer observation.

Sol 925: The rover continued to do arm diagnostics and completed a Mössbauer spectrometer observation - a completion of sol 921's originally planned activities.

Sol 926: Opportunity continued to do arm diagnostics and completed activities originally planned for sol 922 by taking microscopic images and using the Mössbauer spectrometer.

Sol 927: On this sol, the rover used its Mössbauer spectrometer.

As of sol 925 (August 31, 2006), Opportunity's total odometry was 9,023.70 meters (5.61 miles).


sol 913-919, August 25, 2006: Closer and Closer to 'Victoria'

Opportunity is healthy and located only 218 meters (715 feet) from the rim of "Victoria Crater." Opportunity's odometer clicked past the 9-kilometer (5.5-mile) mark as it drove 237.81 meters (780 feet) during the week. The terrain within the annulus, or ring, of material surrounding Victoria is homogeneous and flat, which is favorable for long drives. The team planned a trenching activity for sol 919 (Aug. 25, 2006) to prepare for a robotic arm campaign during the weekend.

Sol-by-sol summaries:

Sol 913 (Aug. 18, 2006): Opportunity used its panoramic camera to conduct a 13-filter systematic foreground observation, gathered a systematic foreground raster with the miniature thermal emission spectrometer and used the navigation camera in support of that spectrometer. The rover measured the atmosphere's clarity (a measurement called "tau") with the panoramic camera and used the miniature thermal emission spectrometer for observations of targets "Tenerife" (a boulder) and "Tenerife BG" (soil near the boulder).

Sol 914: Opportunity drove 71.72 meters (235 feet) then took images from its new position with the navigation camera and the panoramic camera. The rover also conducted a test to aid the design effort for NASA's 2009 Mars Science Laboratory. Opportunity's navigation camera took an image of the sunset. The image was designed to help in development of an algorithm for determining the rover's position using the sun and the time of day. The miniature thermal emission spectrometer observed sky and ground during the afternoon communication-relay pass of NASA's Mars Odyssey orbiter.

Sol 915: The rover conducted monitoring of dust on the panoramic mast assembly (the rover's "neck" and "head"), used the panoramic camera to survey clasts (rock fragments) and used the miniature thermal emission spectrometer to observe sky and ground.

Sol 916: The rover drove backwards for 88.82 meters (291 feet).

Sol 917: Opportunity drove backwards 77.27 meters (254 feet) and took mosaics of images with the navigation camera. Before the Mars Odyssey pass, the rover took a panoramic camera tau measurement. During the orbiter's pass, the miniature thermal emission spectrometer conducted a foreground stare. The rover also took a panoramic camera 13-filter foreground image.

Sol 918: Opportunity did untargeted remote sensing, including: a panoramic camera albedo measurement, a navigation camera rear-looking mosaic, a front hazard avoidance camera image for potential robotic-arm work, and a miniature thermal emission spectrometer seven-point sky and ground observation. The rover also took a panoramic camera tau measurement before the first of two Odyssey passes and a miniature thermal emission spectrometer sky and ground observation during the first Odyssey pass.

Sol 919: Plans call for Opportunity to take a panoramic camera image of the location selected for trenching, then to advance 2.3 meters (7.5 feet) and use a wheel to dig the trench, pausing to take images. Next in the plan are navigation camera mosaics in the forward and rear directions, then observations of sky and ground with the miniature thermal emission spectrometer during the Odyssey pass.

As of sol 918 (August 24, 2006), Opportunity's total odometry was 9,015.19 meters (5.60 miles).


sol 907-912, August 18, 2006: Opportunity Observes 'Isabela'

Opportunity is healthy and on the road to "Victoria Crater." Opportunity drove 35.67 meters (117 feet) from "Beagle Crater" to a small sand dune, or ripple, to examine the dune with the robotic arm. The ripple study included observations with the microscopic imager, two alpha particle X-ray spectrometer integrations, and two observations with the miniature thermal emission spectrometer.

Sol-by-sol summaries:

Sol 907 (Aug. 12, 2006): Opportunity drove 31.4 meters (103 feet) away from Beagle Crater toward a ripple.

Sol 908: Opportunity performed a navigation camera experiment and made observations with the miniature thermal emission spectrometer.

Sol 909: Opportunity drove 4.27 meters (14 feet) and used the robotic arm on the ripple. It also took images with the panoramic camera, navigation camera and hazard-avoidance cameras.

Sol 910: Opportunity took pictures of targets informally named "Isabela" and "Marchena" with the microscopic imager. The rover also took measurements of Marchena with the alpha particle X-ray spectrometer.

Sol 911: Opportunity moved the robotic arm out of the way and took pictures of the area where it would later use the alpha particle X-ray spectrometer. Opportunity made observations of targets informally named "Pinzon" and "Pinta" with the miniature thermal emission spectrometer. Opportunity did a reading of Isabela with the alpha particle X-ray spectrometer after the Odyssey communications pass.

Sol 912 (Aug. 17, 2006): The plan is for Opportunity to stow the robotic arm and drive toward Victoria Crater at a heading of 163 degrees.

Odometry:

As of sol 911 (Aug. 16, 2006), Opportunity's total odometry was 8723.38 meters (5.42 miles).


sol 900-906, August 11, 2006: Opportunity Recovers from Brief Operational Anomaly

While Opportunity was collecting images with the panoramic camera on the rover's 902nd Martian day, or sol (Aug. 7, 2006), a spacecraft anomaly at 11:19 a.m. local solar time caused the rover's fault protection software to interrupt operations, place the rover in a safe state, and reboot the flight software. Upon waking up after the reset, Opportunity flagged the positions of the high-gain antenna and pancam mast assembly as unknown. Opportunity then remained in automode (meaning the rover did not attempt to execute a master sequence of activities for the day).

The rover's handlers transmitted instructions to Opportunity to re-establish the position of the high-gain antenna on sol 903 (Aug. 8, 2006) and the position of the pancam mast assembly on sol 904 (Aug. 9, 2006). Sols 903 and 904 were primarily dedicated to retrieving diagnostic information. On sol 904, Opportunity successfully reacquired the sequence of panoramic camera images that had been terminated by the fault and collected scientific data. As of sol 905 (Aug. 10, 2006), Opportunity was completely restored to normal operations. Opportunity remains healthy and engineers have not found a credible explanation for what caused the anomaly.

Before the fault, Opportunity had been working on a campaign of science observations of the area around "Beagle Crater," including an analysis of laminated ripples using instruments on the rover's robotic arm. Opportunity has resumed work on those observations.

Sol-by-sol summaries:

Sol 900 (Aug. 5, 2006): Opportunity made tau observations (measurements of dust opacity in the atmosphere) using the panoramic camera and completed two image mosaics of Beagle Crater with the panorama camera: a four-by-four mosaic known as "Beagle Pan B" and a two-by-four mosaic known as "Beagle Pan D." Opportunity acquired images of a target known as "Fernandina" using all 13 filters of the panoramic camera and made observations of a target known as "Darwin" with the miniature thermal emission spectrometer. The rover acquired morning panoramic camera images of targets "Camarhynchus" and "Cactospiza" and a portion of the sky. Opportunity checked for drift (changes with time) in the miniature thermal emission spectrometer and surveyed the sky and ground with the same instrument.

Sol 901: Opportunity made tau observations using the panoramic camera and completed two image mosaics of Beagle Crater with the panorama camera: a four-by-four mosaic called "Beagle Pan A" and a four-by-four mosaic called "Beagle Pan C." Opportunity acquired images of a target known as "Floreana" using all 13 filters of the panoramic camera. The rover acquired miniature thermal emission spectrometer data from Camarhynchus and a target called "Geospiza." Opportunity acquired panoramic images of a target known as "Platyspiza."

Sol 902: Opportunity made tau observations with the panoramic camera. At 11:19 a.m. local solar time, a spacecraft fault put the rover in a safe state.

Sol 903: Opportunity ran engineering sequences to recover from the previous day's fault responses and retrieve diagnostic data.

Sol 904: Opportunity acquired stereo images with the navigation camera without activating the pancam mast assembly and ran engineering sequences to complete the rover's recovery from the fault that occurred on sol 902. Opportunity took images of the calibration target for the panoramic camera and re-acquired "Beagle Part 5," the sequence of images that was terminated by the fault on sol 902.

Sol 905: Opportunity made tau observations using the panoramic camera, acquired a two-by-one mosaic of Darwin with the panoramic camera, and acquired images of Geospiza using all 13 filters of the panoramic camera. The rover scanned for clouds using the navigation camera's wide field of view. Opportunity also checked for drift in the miniature thermal emission spectrometer and surveyed the sky and ground with the same instrument.

Sol 906 (Aug. 11, 2006): Plans called for Opportunity to take tau measurements with the panoramic camera, monitor dust on the pancam mast assembly using the miniature thermal emission spectrometer, survey the ground and sky at various elevations using the miniature thermal emission spectrometer, and collect reference data from the calibration target for the thermal emission spectrometer. During this procedure, the rover was to check for drift (changes over time) in measurements from the instrument.

Odometry:

As of sol 897 (Aug. 2, 2006), Opportunity's total odometry was 8,687.56 meters (5.4 miles).


sol 893-899, August 04, 2006: Opportunity Examines Crater Ejecta, Grinds into Rock

After traversing the sandy plains of Meridiani to "Beagle Crater," Opportunity investigated a patch of outcrop pavement thought to be representative of the Martian surface beyond the reach of materials excavated by the impacts that dug Beagle and the nearby, much larger Victoria Crater. Opportunity used its rock abrasion tool to grind away the surface of rock for the first time since the rover's 691st sol, or Martian day (Jan. 3, 2006).

Both before and after grinding beneath the surface of the rock target known as "Baltra," Opportunity took microscopic images and collected data with the alpha particle X-ray spectrometer and the Mössbauer spectrometer. The rover remains healthy. This weekend, the science team plans to launch a three-day imaging campaign of Beagle Crater and the surrounding area.

Sol-by-sol summaries:

Sol 893 (July 29, 2006): Opportunity took microscopic images of Baltra and the grinding bit on the rock abrasion tool, ground 3 millimeters (0.12 inch) beneath the surface of Baltra, and took images of the magnets on the rock abrasion tool both before and after the grind. After communicating with NASA's Mars Odyssey orbiter, the rover began a study of Baltra with the alpha particle X-ray spectrometer and surveyed the sky and ground with the miniature thermal emission spectrometer. The rover turned off the alpha particle X-ray spectrometer at 11:13 p.m., local Mars time, before going into a mini-deep sleep.

Sol 894: Opportunity took stereo microscopic images of Baltra following the grind. The rover spent 12 hours collecting data from the freshly ground surface with the Mössbauer spectrometer. Opportunity acquired panoramic camera images of the rim of Beagle Crater and a transitional area around Beagle Crater known as "Española."

Sol 895: Opportunity acquired panoramic camera images of a flat rock target known as "Bartolomé" and conducted Mössbauer analysis of Baltra. Opportunity completed a very long survey of atmospheric dust, known as a tau measurement, with the panoramic camera and surveyed the sky and ground with the miniature thermal emission spectrometer. The rover went into deep sleep to recharge the batteries.

Sol 896: Opportunity rolled back 1 meter (3.3 feet) and acquired color images of Baltra using all 13 filters of the panoramic camera, then drove 21 meters (69 feet) toward the edge of Beagle Crater. At the end of the drive, the rover acquired images of the terrain using the navigation and panoramic cameras.

Sol 897: Opportunity recharged the batteries and conducted untargeted remote sensing of infrared energy and dust using the miniature thermal emission spectrometer (beginning with looking at the calibration target) and the panoramic camera. The rover surveyed the ground and sky with the miniature thermal emission spectrometer while communicating with the Odyssey orbiter.

Sol 898: Opportunity acquired panoramic camera images before driving 5 meters (16 feet) toward the rim of Beagle Crater. After the drive, Opportunity acquired images with the navigation camera and data with the miniature thermal emission spectrometer.

Sol 899 (Aug. 4, 2006): Plans called for a deep sleep followed by turning on the miniature thermal emission spectrometer heaters at 7 a.m., surveying the sky with the panoramic camera, and collecting data from the sky and ground using the miniature thermal emission spectrometer.

Odometry

As of sol 897 (Aug. 2, 2006), Opportunity's total odometry was 8,681.96 meters (5.39 miles).


sol 886-892, July 29, 2006: Cleaning Event Gives Opportunity Renewed Energy

Opportunity spent five sols this week at a target called "Joseph McCoy." At this location, the rover acquired about 41 hours of Mössbauer spectrometer integration, almost seven hours of alpha particle X-ray spectrometer integration, and a mosaic from the microscopic imager. Then Opportunity rolled back, scuffed the soil, and drove 55 meters (180 feet) closer to "Beagle Crater." The scuff helps scientists and engineers analyze how the wheels interact with the soil. After the most recent drive, Opportunity is sitting about 25 meters (82 feet) from the rim of Beagle Crater.

Over the past 50 sols the team noticed a gradual cleaning of the solar panels similar to a more-sudden cleaning event experienced one Mars-year ago in "Endurance Crater." Removal of some of the accumulated dust on the panels allows greater production of electricity from sunlight. Opportunity's solar panels are now producing just over 500 watt-hours per sol.

Sol-by-sol summaries:

Sol 886 (July 22, 2006): Opportunity took microscopic images and an alpha particle X-ray spectrometer reading of the target Joseph McCoy. During the afternoon communication-relay session with NASA's Mars Odyssey orbiter, the rover observed the sky and ground with the miniature thermal emission spectrometer to profile temperatures of the atmosphere and surface. This sol also included a 13-filter panoramic image of a feature called "Jesse Chisholm" and an abbreviated morning observation of the sky and ground with the miniature thermal emission spectrometer.

Sol 887: Opportunity took a Mössbauer reading of Joseph McCoy and a panoramic camera image of "Sand Sheet" (shot to the south to determine a path to Beagle). In the morning, the rover looked for clouds and made atmospheric measurements.

Sol 888: Opportunity continued the Mössbauer examination of Joseph McCoy and conducted a miniature thermal emission spectrometer stare at Jesse Chisholm. The rover checked for clouds and assessed a temperature profile of the atmosphere.

Sol 889: The rover restarted the Mössbauer spectrometer, used the miniature thermal emission spectrometer for a seven-point sky and ground observation, and checked for clouds with the navigation camera.

Sol 890: Opportunity restarted the Mössbauer spectrometer and did two stares at soil with the miniature thermal emission spectrometer. The rover then stopped the Mössbauer observation and changed tools to the alpha particle X-ray spectrometer before the Odyssey pass. The rover began collecting X-ray spectrometer data on a target called "Ignatius."

Sol 891: Opportunity rolled back 1.5 meters (5 feet) and scuffed soil with its left-front wheel. The rover then conducted mid-drive imaging, completing a 13-filter panoramic camera image of the robotic arm's work area and the scuff. The rover drove 55 meters (180 feet) towards Beagle Crater. Post-drive imaging included a panoramic camera mosaic and navigation camera image mosaics in the forward and rear directions.

Sol 892 (July 28, 2006): Plans call for Opportunity to aim the navigation camera in the direction of the calibration target and take pictures of the sky, checking for clouds. Also, the rover is to use the miniature thermal emission spectrometer to profile near-surface and atmospheric temperatures.

Opportunity's total odometry as of sol 892 is 8,660.44 meters (5.38 miles).


sol 879-885, July 21, 2006: Bounding Toward 'Beagle Crater'

Opportunity is healthy and is driving toward "Beagle Crater," which is about 50 meters (164 feet) away as of sol 884 (July 20). "Victoria Crater" is about 510 meters (just over a quarter of a mile) away. The rover used its panoramic camera, microscopic imager and alpha particle X-ray spectrometer on soil target "Westport," (soil without spherules in a wheel scuff) in order to provide the science team with a soil sample outside the vast, outlying rim of Victoria Crater. A step in upgrading the flight software was successfully completed on sol 881. Opportunity drove about 106 meters (348 feet) between sols 878 and 884.

Sol-by-sol summaries:

Sol 879 (July 14, 2006): Opportunity examined the soil target Westport with its panoramic camera, microscopic imager and alpha particle X-ray spectrometer. The rover also completed a panoramic camera observation of "Dallas," a disturbed patch in the tracks intended to be similar to the spots examined with the contact instruments. A target referred to as "Waco," a raised patch of outcrop that may be a crater, was also examined with the panoramic camera. Work was completed for the flight software build, which is the assembling and validating of many files of new software transmitted to the rover in preceding weeks.

Sol 880: The rover took a microscopic image of an undisturbed soil target, "Fort Graham," and completed a Mössbauer spectrometer integration on Westport. The miniature thermal emission spectrometer observed a block of ejecta (material ejected from a crater) called "Preston." The panoramic camera checked the clarity of the atmosphere. Part of the flight software build took place this sol.

Sol 881: The Mössbauer integration continued this sol on Westport. A 13-filter panoramic camera image was taken of Preston and "Red Rock," another ejecta block. Opportunity profiled the atmosphere and near-surface temperature with its miniature thermal emission spectrometer. That instrument was also used to analyze Dallas.

Sol 882: Due to the planned loss of use of the Deep Space Network on this sol, some data was left onboard: a panoramic camera mosaic of the area behind the rover, dust monitoring data, sky thumbnail images and a measurement of atmospheric clarity.

Sol 883: Opportunity took a pre-drive panoramic camera image of Fort Graham and a ripple band. The miniature thermal emission spectrometer was used to profile the atmosphere in the morning. The rover then drove about 37 meters (121 feet).

Sol 884: The rover drove about 40 meters (131 feet). A navigation camera picture was taken of "Jesse Chisholm," a dark mound about 35 meters (115 feet) from the location the rover reached on sol 883. The miniature thermal emission spectrometer completed an observation of the area around the rover. The panoramic camera was also used to characterize the location.

Sol 885 (July 21): The rover drove back and forth to create a scuff in the surface material to examine the soil underneath. It was then commanded to approach Jesse Chisholm, the next target for examining with the instruments on the robotic arm.

Opportunity's total odometry as of the end of the drive on sol 884 (July 20) was 8,599.14 meters (5.34 miles).


sol 872-878, July 20, 2006: Next Stop: 'Beagle Crater'

Opportunity is healthy and continued driving towards "Beagle Crater," which is about 140 meters (459 feet) away as of sol 877 (July 12, 2006). The upload of the flight software files was completed on sol 876, and the flight software build process is currently planned for sols 879-881. Opportunity supported a coordinated overflight with the Mars Express orbiter on sol 877 and drove a total of about 46 meters (151 feet) between sols 872-877.

Sol-by-sol summaries:

Sol 872 (July 7, 2006): Opportunity used its panoramic camera for some targeted investigations this sol, then had a communication session with the Mars Odyssey orbiter. The rover also completed a miniature thermal emission spectrometer sky and ground observation.

Sol 873: On this sol, an attempt to cross a ripple to the southeast (in order to head towards Beagle Crater) was prematurely halted because the rover appropriately determined that it was making too little progress over the ripple. The rover also did some dust monitoring with its panoramic camera mast assembly (the rover's "head" and "neck"), and conducted some morning atmospheric science, including a sky and ground observation with the miniature thermal emission spectrometer. Opportunity also did a calibration of that instrument on this sol.

Sol 874: Opportunity used its panoramic camera to survey the ground, then took a picture with its navigation camera to determine where to point the miniature thermal emission spectrometer. The miniature thermal emission spectrometer was also used to observe the sky and ground. The panoramic camera took thumbnail images of the sky.

Sol 875: On this sol, the rover successfully backed away from the ripple that saw 80 percent slip on sol 873. Opportunity used its panoramic camera and miniature thermal emission spectrometer on a distant potential meteorite; those instruments also completed an observation of the sky and ground.

Sol 876: The rover drove southwesterly towards the edge of a ripple about 15 meters (49 feet) away to evaluate whether the outcrop adjacent to the ripple is reachable, and whether there is a path from the outcrop towards Beagle Crater. The rover also searched for clouds with its navigation camera and observed the sky and ground with its miniature thermal emission spectrometer.

Sol 877: Opportunity drove about 25 meters (82 feet) on an outcrop path towards Beagle Crater. The rover did a "quick find attitude" at the end of the drive, which updates its physical position. The rover supported a Mars Express overflight, and did remote sensing with its panoramic camera and miniature thermal emission spectrometer.

Sol 878: The rover drove about 25 meters (82 feet) towards Beagle Crater. Opportunity performed elevation sky and ground surveys during the Mars Odyssey pass and miniature thermal emission spectrometer sky and ground stares in the morning. A panoramic camera survey in front of the rover will be conducted to help pick a soil target for this weekend's robotic arm activity.

Odometry total as of Sol 877's drive: 8,493.72 meters (5.28 miles).


sol 867-871, July 11, 2006: Getting Closer to 'Victoria Crater'

Opportunity is healthy. This week, Opportunity continued uplinking its new flight software load and driving toward "Victoria Crater." Opportunity completed three more drives toward the large crater on sols 869 (July 4, 2006), 870 and 871.

As of Sol 870, Opportunity is approximately 115 meters (377 feet) from "Beagle Crater" and about 600 meters (just over one-third of a mile) from Victoria Crater.

Sol-by-sol summaries:

Sol 867 (July 2, 2006): Opportunity took a panoramic camera tau, which is a measurement of opacity, and then a panoramic camera image of the target referred to as "Austin." The miniature thermal emission spectrometer was used for a sky and ground observation and to investigate the target "McKinney."

Sol 868: The panoramic camera aboard Opportunity was busy this sol, imaging targets McKinney, "Baxter Springs" and "Fort Gibson." The miniature thermal emission spectrometer looked at McKinney, the sky and ground, as well as the calibration target on the rover. The panoramic camera also took a tau before communicating with the Mars Odyssey spacecraft. In the morning, a miniature thermal emission spectrometer drift check was conducted to calibrate the instrument's elevation actuator (to remove any drift).

Sol 869: This sol saw Opportunity on the move again. The rover first took a tau with its panoramic camera, stowed its robotic arm and then drove. After the drive, the rover unstowed its arm and completed post-drive imaging with its panoramic and navigational cameras. The miniature thermal emission spectrometer examined the sky and ground.

Sol 870: Opportunity essentially repeated the previous sol's activities, completing a panoramic camera tau, robotic arm stow, drive, unstow, post-drive imaging and use of the miniature thermal emission spectrometer to examine the sky and ground. A drift check was also conducted on the miniature thermal emission spectrometer's elevation actuator.

Sol 871: The morning of this sol involved using the rover's panoramic camera to do an intensive systematic ground survey. Opportunity also drove again this sol after taking a panoramic camera tau. After the drive was completed, the rover took images with its navigation camera and a tau with the panoramic camera. The miniature thermal emission spectrometer examined the sky and ground. In the morning, the panoramic camera was used to quantify sky brightness in the west and, in the afternoon, another drift check was conducted on the miniature thermal emission spectrometer's elevation actuator.

Odometry total as of Sol 870 (July 5, 2006): 8,421.65 meters (5.23 miles).


sol 859-866, June 30, 2006: Full Plate for Opportunity

Opportunity is healthy. Opportunity has had a full plate with a new flight software load being uplinked and the rover driving towards "Victoria Crater." Despite this busy schedule, Opportunity has been taking advantage of every remote sensing window to acquire good science.

Opportunity is continuing the uplink of its new flight software load with almost half of the required files already onboard. Starting with Sol 865, flight software load files are being sent through the Mars Odyssey forward link path in addition to the X-band high-gain antenna path.

Opportunity has completed three more drives towards "Victoria Crater." As of Sol 862 (June 27, 2006), the river was 202 meters (663 feet) from "Beagle Crater" and 705 meters (0.44 mile) from Victoria Crater.

The Mössbauer spectrometer instrument has begun to show some minor anomalies although no degradation is noted in the actual measurement channels. As time permits, the team has been conducting diagnostics to troubleshoot the issue.

Sol-by-sol summaries:

Sol 859 (June 24, 2006): Opportunity used the panoramic camera to take images and check the clarity of the atmosphere ("tau"). It completed a cloud observation with the navigation camera and used its miniature thermal emission spectrometer.

Sol 860: The rover assessed tau with the panoramic camera then drove. After the drive, Opportunity took images with the navigation camera and panoramic camera. The rover then used its miniature thermal emission spectrometer to observe the sky and ground. After a communication-relay session with NASA's Mars Odyssey orbiter passing over, the rover observed the sky with the panoramic camera and used the miniature thermal emission spectrometer.

Sol 861: The panoramic camera assessed tau and surveyed the horizon. The rover then conducted observations with its miniature thermal emission spectrometer.

Sol 862: The rover assessed tau with the panoramic camera, drove, then took pictures from its new location. During communication with Odyssey, Opportunity used its miniature thermal emission spectrometer. After communicating with Odyssey, the rover did some diagnostic testing and looked at dust accumulation. After that, the rover looked at the sky with its panoramic camera and gathered data with the miniature thermal emission spectrometer.

Sol 863: Opportunity assessed tau with the panoramic camera and conducted observations with the miniature thermal emission spectrometer.

Sol 864: The rover assessed tau with the panoramic camera, drove, and took post-drive images and another tau measurement. It also used the miniature thermal emission spectrometer.

Sol 865: Opportunity's panoramic camera assessed tau and scanned the horizon. The miniature thermal emission spectrometer was used to observe the sky and ground.

Sol 866 (July 1, 2006): Plans included assessing tau with the panoramic camera and using the miniature thermal emission spectrometer.

Odometry total as of sol 862 (June 27, 2006): 8,312.92 meters (5.17 miles).


sol 852-858, June 23, 2006: Three Sols of Driving Gain 138 Meters

Opportunity is healthy. The rover has started receiving a new flight software load. It also advanced 138.1 meters (453 feet) toward "Victoria Crater" in three sols of driving and observed outcrop targets. As of sol 855 (June 20) Opportunity was 780 meters (just under half a mile) from Victoria Crater and about 300 meters (984 feet) from "Beagle Crater."

Engineers are uploading new flight software to both Opportunity and Spirit. The upload process is expected to take several weeks before the new software is installed and used. To expedite this process, the team is gradually increasing the duration of Opportunity's high-gain antenna uplink sessions. No files of the new flight software were uplinked via UHF this week. However, beginning with sol 864 (June 29, 2006), Opportunity will begin receiving flight software files via its daily UHF-band communication window as well as via the X-band high-gain antenna.

Sol-by-sol summaries:

Sol 852 (June 17): Files were loaded for the new flight software via a 20-minute window of communication via the high-gain antenna. Targeted remote sensing with the panoramic camera included an assessment of the clarity of the atmosphere ("tau") and imaging of targets called "Holberg" and "Blixen." The miniature thermal emission spectrometer was used for observations of Holberg, Blixen, sky and ground.

Sol 853: A flight software upload used a 20-minute high-gain antenna window. The rover drove 42.1 meters (138 feet). Untargeted remote sensing included post-drive imaging by the navigation camera and the panoramic camera, an assessment of tau by the panoramic camera, a check for clouds with the navigation camera, and sky and ground observations with the miniature thermal emission spectrometer.

Sol 854: Another flight software upload was accomplished during a 20-minute high-gain antenna communication window. The panoramic camera checked tau. The navigation camera looked back in the direction toward where sol 853's drive began.

Sol 855: During a 30-minute high-gain antenna session, more of the new flight software was transmitted. Opportunity drove 39.4 meters (129 feet). The navigation camera and panoramic camera made observations from the new location. The panoramic camera checked tau. The miniature thermal emission spectrometer completed a sky and ground observation.

Sol 856: During a one-hour window, another flight software upload was accomplished. Untargeted remote sensing included a panoramic camera observation of the ground's brightness, a panoramic camera assessment of tau, and a miniature thermal emission spectrometer observation of sky and ground.

Sol 857: More flight software files were uploaded during a 30-minute high-gain antenna window. The rover drove 56.6 meters (186 feet). Opportunity also conducted a panoramic camera assessment of tau, a panoramic camera calibration, and a miniature thermal emission spectrometer observation of sky and ground.

Sol 858 (June 23, 2006): A two-hour high-gain antenna session allowed for the upload of more flight software updates. The navigation camera looked back in the direction toward where sol 857's drive began. The panoramic camera checked tau and made a calibration observation. The miniature thermal emission spectrometer observed sky and ground.

Opportunity's total odometry as of the end of the drive on sol 855 (June 20, 2006) was 8,190.89 meters (5.09 miles).


sol 844-851, June 15, 2006: Opportunity Hits Five-Mile Mark

After the previous week's successful extraction from "Jammerbugt," Opportunity resumed its drive south. Approximately 95 meters (312 feet) was covered this week, and Opportunity reached the five-mile mark for total odometry! Next week the rover will be on restricted sols, meaning the end-of-sol data from the rover does not get to Earth until late in the day, so the team plans every other day without it. The plan will be for Opportunity to drive every other day. On the days off, the team will plan light remote sensing and downlink some of the unsent data that is building up in memory.

Sol-by-sol summaries:

Sol 844 (June 9, 2006): A 20-meter (66-foot) drive was planned for this sol. Planners intended for the drive to take Opportunity south, down the next trough over from the previous drive. The drive stopped after 4.8 meters (16 feet), when the first slip check detected 42 percent slip. Forty percent was the maximum allowed.

Sol 845: The rover conducted targeted remote sensing, including panoramic camera imaging of targets called "Jylland" and "Gorm," and an observation of Gorm with the miniature thermal emission spectrometer. The team is informally naming targets in honor of Danish Constitution Day (June 5). Jylland is the main island of the Danish peninsula, and Gorm was the first king of Denmark.

Sol 846: After little progress in two adjacent troughs, Opportunity moved one more trough to the west. Slip checks were used to prevent driving with over 40 percent slip. The soil was relatively firm, and the rover made 9 meters (30 feet) of progress.

Sol 847: Opportunity conducted atmospheric science and took rear-looking images with its navigation camera.

Sol 848: The drive today took Opportunity down a trough. The team turned the rover around on a piece of outcrop so that it could drive backwards (to improve UHF data return). The drive proceeded down the trough and made 20.6 meters (68 feet) of progress. Before the drive, the panoramic camera took an image of a small crater, nicknamed "Sjaelland" for the biggest island of Denmark and the site of the capital.

Sol 849: Continuing south, Opportunity made 24 meters (79 feet) of progress. Slip checks were done approximately every 5 meters (16 feet) while on sand. The drive ended on a patch of outcrop

Sol 850: To start the day, Opportunity took a panoramic camera image of target "Steno" (informally named for Niels Steensen, or Nicholas Steno, a 17th century Danish anatomist and geologist). The drive was entirely over outcrop, and approximately 36 meters (118 feet) of progress was made. Opportunity performed one bonus slip check, on an area with a little more sand than the rest. As expected, very little slip was detected.

Sol 851 (June 16, 2006): Plans call for driving farther south.

Opportunity's total odometry as of sol 850 (June 15, 2006) is 8,080.38 meters (5.02 miles).


sol 837-844, June 09, 2006: Opportunity on the Road Again

Opportunity is less than a kilometer (just over half a mile) from "Victoria Crater." During the last planned drive on sol 833, the rover became embedded in a soft dune. As designed, the drive was stopped by a slip check. The extraction process began on sol 836, with 5 meters (16 feet) of commanded motion, and 9 centimeters (3.5 inches) of actual forward progress. The results are encouraging, and extraction will continue on Friday (June 2, 2006) and over the weekend if necessary. Opportunity is otherwise healthy and continues to conduct atmospheric and targeted remote sensing on the path south.

Opportunity is healthy, and the team has successfully extracted the rover from the dune called "Jammerbugt." The rover first backed into this dune on sol 830 (May 24, 2006) to increase its northerly tilt. On sol 833's drive, the wheels became partially embedded and Opportunity did not make significant progress. The extraction started on sol 836, when the rover was commanded to drive forward over its previous tracks. On sol 841 the extraction was complete. Later in the week Opportunity resumed the drive toward "Victoria Crater."

Sol-by-sol summaries:

Opportunity is healthy, and the team has successfully extracted the rover from the dune called "Jammerbugt." The rover first backed into this dune on sol 830 (May 24, 2006) to increase its northerly tilt. On sol 833's drive, the wheels became partially embedded and Opportunity did not make significant progress. The extraction started on sol 836, when the rover was commanded to drive forward over its previous tracks. On sol 841 the extraction was complete. Later in the week Opportunity resumed the drive toward "Victoria Crater."

Sol 837 (June 1, 2006): This was the second sol of the extraction effort. Ten steps of one-meter (3.3 feet) each were commanded. To prevent the rover from moving too far or in a way that the team did not expect, the drive commands included checks on tilt, yaw, suspension angles, and distance traveled. Several safety checks, some redundant, were employed to stop the rover after it had safely reached outcrop. Forward motion of approximately 8 centimeters (3.1 inches) was recorded.

Sol 838: Sol 838 was the first sol of a three-sol weekend plan with three identical drives planned. At first, only the sol 838 drive was uplinked to the rover. "Go/no-go" meetings were held over the weekend to review the rover's progress and decide whether the next drive sequence was safe to uplink. The first sol of the three-sol plan was the third sol of the extraction effort. The drive plan was identical to sol 837's, except that the wheels were steered slightly down-slope. In 10 meters (33 feet) of commanded motion, only 4.2 centimeters (1.7 inches) of progress was made, with progress decreasing as the drive continued. The wheels were more caked after the drive than before it. Progress seen in this drive was on par with what was observed when Opportunity was embedded in "Purgatory Dune."

Sol 839: This was the fourth sol of the extraction effort. The sequence was identical to the previous sol's. Approximately 5 centimeters (2 inches) of progress was made, which was slightly better than in the preceding sol, but with a similar trend of less progress towards the end of the drive. The wheels appeared cleaner.

Sol 840: This was the fifth sol of the extraction effort. The sequence was identical to the previous sol's. Downlink for this came in about 3 a.m. Monday (June 5, 2006) morning, and it was a great way to start the week. Twenty-eight centimeters (11 inches) of progress was made! The front wheels were significantly less buried and they were cleaner. Based on the Purgatory experience, these were taken as signs that the rover was about to break free.

Sol 841: Sol 841 was the sixth sol of the extraction effort. The sequence was similar to the previous sol's, but with tighter limits to make sure the rover didn't exceed the drive goal. Ten steps of one-meter (3.3 feet) each were commanded, but only 3 were executed. After visual odometry measured 2.8 meters (9.2 feet) of progress and a corresponding change in heading, the drive stopped as intended. The first step showed only 18 percent slip, and the next two steps showed essentially no slip. All six wheels reached outcrop! This sol began on June 5, Danish Constitution Day. The holiday commemorates the anniversary of the signing of the Danish Constitution of 1849, which established Denmark as a constitutional monarchy, and also honors the constitution of 1953, which was adopted on the same date. Denmark provided magnet arrays for Opportunity's and Spirit's studies of airborne dust. In honor of Danish colleagues, the rover team decided to use Danish names for targets in the area of Opportunity's current location.

Sol 842: Opportunity took high-resolution imaging of the newly named dune, Jammerbugt, where it had become temporarily embedded. The informal name comes from a bay named Jammerbugt (The Bay of Wailing) on the north coast of Denmark, known for its many shipwrecks. Opportunity also acquired the standard set of post-drive imaging to assist in planning the next drive.

Sol 843: Back on the road again! Opportunity retraced its steps about 5 meters (16.4 feet) back to another outcrop patch. From there, the planned route started south down a trough parallel to the one the team had previously chosen. The rover drove 11.3 meters (37 feet), but no southerly progress was made.

Sol 844 (June 9, 2006): Plans call for a 20-meter (66-foot) drive southward. Slip checks were included in the commands, to stop the drive in case of excessive slip.

Odometry:

As of sol 843 (June 8, 2006), Opportunity's total odometry is 7,985.5 meters (4.96 miles).


sol 833-837, June 01, 2006: Digging Out of the Dune

Opportunity is less than a kilometer (just over half a mile) from "Victoria Crater." During the last planned drive on sol 833, the rover became embedded in a soft dune. As designed, the drive was stopped by a slip check. The extraction process began on sol 836, with 5 meters (16 feet) of commanded motion, and 9 centimeters (3.5 inches) of actual forward progress. The results are encouraging, and extraction will continue on Friday (June 2, 2006) and over the weekend if necessary. Opportunity is otherwise healthy and continues to conduct atmospheric and targeted remote sensing on the path south.

Sol-by-sol summaries:

Sol 833 (May 28, 2006): For this sol, the team planned a drive of about 30 meters (98 feet), post-drive imaging, and atmospheric remote sensing. The drive started with a small turn in place to move to the center of a dune trough. The material the rover is in is soft, and the rover experienced very high rates of slippage. A slip check precluded further driving.

Sol 834: On this second sol of a two-sol plan, Opportunity performed some atmospheric remote sensing (including cloud imaging) and recharged the batteries.

Sol 835: Opportunity took a break from driving and collected high-resolution images to better characterize the material in which the rover is embedded.

Sol 836: After evaluating the tracks and soil, the team began the extraction process. Five meters (16 feet) of driving was commanded, with limits imposed on rover tilt, mobility suspension angles, pitch, yaw, and total distance traversed. The drive resulted in 9 centimeters (3.5 inches) of forward progress. This is more than three times the rate of progress experienced during the "Purgatory Dune" extraction in April and May 2005. Hazard avoidance camera images also show that the front cleats are not as caked as during the Purgatory extraction.

Sol 837 (June 1): Plans called for the dune extraction to continue on this sol, with 10 meters (33 feet) of commanded motion. The sol 836 mobility safety checks were used. In addition, the allowable yaw range was narrowed, and the drive sequence also imposed a new limit for maximum visual odometry failures. Since visual odometry is likely to fail if more than expected progress is made, this will prevent the rover from traveling too far if it should happen to break free of the dune.

As of sol 836, Opportunity's total odometry is 7971.42 meters (4.95 miles).


sol 825-834, May 30, 2006: Dug Into Loose Soil Again

Opportunity's wheels dug into loose soil during a drive on sol 833 (May 29, 2006). The drive was planned for about 24 meters (79 feet) but resulted in only 1.5 meters (5 feet) of forward progress. The flight team directed Opportunity on sol 834 to take images for studying the situation and planning a way to drive out of the loose material. Preliminary assessment indicates the wheels are not buried as deeply as when Opportunity's wheels become embedded in "Purgatory Dune" on sol 446. An escape drive may be attempted within a few days. The sol 833 drive was planned to stay in a trough between crests of ripples. Neither the trough nor the ripples were considered wheel-embedding hazards.

During the preceding eight sols, Opportunity executed both a robotic arm campaign and two more drives toward "Victoria Crater." The rover used its microscopic imager, alpha particle X-ray spectrometer, and Moessbaeur spectrometer on the soil target "Alamogordo Creek."

As Opportunity eases its way into the Martian winter season, rover planners have started to target energy-rich "lily pads" (regions with a northerly tilt) at the end of each drive. This way, planners can maximize the amount of sun on Opportunity's solar arrays.

Sol-by-sol summaries:

Sol 825 (May 20): The rover used its microscopic imager and alpha particle X-ray spectrometer, and did targeted remote sensing.

Sol 826: Opportunity conducted targeted remote sensing, used its microscopic imager and did a Mössbauer spectrometer integration.

Sol 827: Opportunity did targeted remote sensing and continued the Mössbauer integration.

Sol 828: The rover drove 39.07 meters (128 feet) and did untargeted remote sensing.

Sol 829: Opportunity conducted untargeted remote sensing.

Sol 830: The rover drove about 28 meters (92 feet) and conducted untargeted remote sensing.

Sols 831 and 832: Opportunity did untargeted remote sensing on both of these sols.

Sol 833: Opportunity's wheels became partly buried in the loose soil during a drive that was intended to cover about 24 meters (79 feet).

Sol 834 (May 30): The plan for this sol included imaging to aid planning for a drive to get out of the loose material.

Odometry total as of Sol 828 (May 23): 7,940.57 meters (4.93 miles)


sol 818-824, May 23, 2006: Checking Out 'Cheyenne' and Testing Relay for Phoenix

Opportunity is healthy and continuing to make its way toward "Victoria Crater." Opportunity made 108 meters (354 feet) of progress in two sols of driving and was approximately 1,000 meters (just over half a mile) from Victoria Crater at the end of Sol 823.

Opportunity and NASA's Mars Odyssey orbiter are conducting a set of demonstrations using the relay between the rover and orbiter to aid planning for communications during NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander mission, slated for launch in August 2007 and landing in May 2008.

Sol-by-sol summaries

Sol 818 (May 13, 2006): Opportunity investigated a rock target called "Cheyenne." It used the microscopic imager to examine the target, then used the rock abrasion tool's wire bristles to brush the target. After the brushing, the alpha particle X-ray spectrometer collected data about what elements make up the rock. The rover also took images with the panoramic camera for a mosaic view from the location reached by Sol 817's drive.

Sol 819: Opportunity took a post-brush microscopic stereo image mosaic of Cheyenne and evaluated the target's mineral composition with the Mössbauer spectrometer. The rover also took a panoramic-camera image of "Pueblo," an area of layered outcrop.

Sol 820: Opportunity used its Mössbauer spectrometer on Cheyenne, observed the sky and ground with the miniature thermal emission spectrometer, and used the navigation camera to check for clouds.

Sol 821: The rover took images of Cheyenne using the 13 filters of the panoramic camera. Then it drove about 36.64 meters (120 feet) and took pictures from the new location with the navigation camera and the panoramic camera. It also used the panoramic camera for observing the sky.

Sol 822: Opportunity used its navigation camera to do rearward-looking imaging and cloud scans. The rover also used its miniature thermal emission spectrometer to observe the sky and ground, and it worked with Odyssey to conduct the second part of the Phoenix relay test. (The first part was on Sol 812.)

Sol 823: Opportunity drove 71.2 meters (234 feet) then took images from the new location with the navigation camera and the panoramic camera. The rover also used the panoramic camera to evaluate the clarity of the atmosphere, monitor dust on the camera mast and observe the sky.

Sol 824 (May 19, 2006): On this sol, Opportunity took rearward-looking images with its navigation camera, observed the ground and sky with its miniature thermal emission spectrometer, and assessed atmospheric clarity with its panoramic camera. During the sol's relay pass with Odyssey, the rover used the miniature thermal emission spectrometer again to observe the sky and ground.

Opportunity's total odometry as of Sol 821 (May 16, 2006) was 7,829.99 meters (4.87 miles)


sol 811-817, May 16, 2006: Excellent Progress Toward 'Victoria Crater'

Opportunity examined the crest of a ripple and drove about 200 meters (656 feet), putting itself within about 1,100 meters (two-thirds of a mile) of "Victoria Crater." The ripple-crest inspection included a stereo look at target "Pecos River" with the microscopic imager.

Sol-by-sol summaries:

Sol 811 (May 6, 2006): Opportunity took a stereo microscopic image of Pecos River. During the communication-relay UHF pass with NASA's Mars Odyssey orbiter, the rover used its miniature thermal emission spectrometer on a target called "Horsehead." In the morning, the panoramic camera took images of Horsehead and "Chadbourne" with all 13 of the camera's filters.

Sol 812: The rover's miniature thermal emission spectrometer observed sky and ground targets. The panoramic camera checked dust on magnets and on the camera mast, and assessed the clarity of the atmosphere. Two afternoon UHF passes were used. The first was a UHF forward-link demonstration for the 2007 Phoenix Mars Lander mission, performed with Odyssey low in the sky.

Sol 813: Opportunity conducted a morning observation with the miniature thermal emission spectrometer during uplink of the day's commands, then took a pre-drive, 13-filter image of the work volume with the panoramic camera. The rover drove backwards for one hour, covering 40.14 meters (132 feet), and took post-drive images.

Sol 814: Opportunity did 1.5 hours of driving for 52.38 meters (172 feet) and did post-drive imaging. The drive used both blind driving (following a route chosen by rover planners) and autonomous navigation.

Sol 815: The rover drove 1.5 hours blind for 45.61 meters (150 feet).

Sol 816: This sol was an atmospheric-science day. Opportunity stowed its robotic arm and drove 1.5 hours for 38.12 meters (125 feet). The rover then unstowed its arm and took post-drive images. During the Odyssey uplink, Opportunity was able to do a sky and ground observation with the miniature thermal emission spectrometer. The rover took a pre-sunset image with the panoramic camera after the Odyssey pass.

Sol 817 (May 12, 2006): The activity plan for this sol included a drive of about 22 meters (72 feet).

Opportunity's total odometry as of sol 816 (May 11, 2006) was 7,769.52 meters (4.83 miles).


sol 804-810, May 04, 2006: 'Victoria' in View

Opportunity executed a three-sol examination of "Brookville" outcrop with tools on the robotic arm. This work included microscopic imaging, a brushing, 16 total hours of integrated data gathering with the Mössbauer spectrometer, and an overnight integration with the alpha particle X-ray spectrometer. Then Opportunity stowed its arm and drove 107 meters (351 feet) in three sols, reaching a point estimated to be 1,279 meters (less than eight-tenths of a mile) from "Victoria Crater." The team believes the rim of the crater is becoming visible in a vertically stretched image looking south.

Sol-by-sol summaries:

Sol 804 (April 28, 2006): This was the first sol of robotic arm work on Brookville. The rover took microscopic images, then brushed the target and followed with an afternoon data collection by the Mössbauer spectrometer. The rover observed a target called "Great Bend" with the miniature thermal emission spectrometer during the afternoon communication-relay session with NASA's Mars Odyssey orbiter.

Sol 805: Opportunity did morning atmospheric science and positioned the alpha particle X-ray spectrometer. The rover used that spectrometer on Brookville until taking morning images of Gila Bend using 13 filters of the panoramic camera.

Sol 806: On the final sol of arm work on Brookville, Opportunity changed tools to the Mössbauer spectrometer and completed an afternoon integration. At 7:00 p.m. local solar time, the team stopped the integration and Opportunity did a mini-deep sleep.

Sol 807: The panoramic camera took 13-filter images of the arm's brushing target. Then Opportunity drove for 30 minutes. After driving, the rover observed the surroundings from its new position with the navigation camera and looked in the drive direction with the panoramic camera.

Sol 808: Opportunity drove for an hour and 10 minutes in the compass direction of 150 degrees (south southeast), then took images from its new location. During the afternoon, the rover made observations with the thermal emission spectrometer and used the panoramic camera to check atmospheric clarity. It used the deep-sleep mode overnight.

Sol 809: Opportunity took another 1-hour-and-10-minute drive followed by imaging and atmospheric science during the Odyssey pass.

Sol 810 (May 5, 2006): The rover was directed to take rear-looking images with the navigation camera during the morning of sol 810 as part of plan uplinked on sol 809. The plan for uplink on sol 810 includes a 15-meter (50-foot) approach to a target for using the robotic arm's tools to inspect ripple banding during the weekend, plus post-drive imaging with the navigation camera and panoramic camera.

As of sol 809 (May 4, 2006) Opportunity has driven 7,575.51 meters (4.71 miles).


sol 796-803, Apr 29, 2006: Opportunity Hits 800 Sol Mark!

Opportunity is healthy and making good progress towards "Victoria Crater," with just under 1,400 meters (.86 mile) to go. The team spent several days this week setting up for some robotic arm work over the weekend, provided there is a good piece of outcrop in the work volume. Opportunity will continue driving next week.

Sol-by-sol summaries:

Sol 796 (April 20, 2006): Opportunity ended a drive after 2 meters (about 7 feet). Imaging taken before and after the drive was completed.

Sol 797: The rover conducted untargeted remote science, including panoramic camera and miniature thermal emission spectrometer ground surveys and atmospheric measurements.

Sol 798: The rover completed targeted remote science, including panoramic camera images of targets "Junction City," "Chetopa," "Coffeyville" and "Salina," and miniature thermal emission spectrometer stares of "Junction City" and "Salina."

Sol 799: Opportunity had a great drive today, traveling approximately 44 meters (144 feet).

Sol 800(April 24, 2006): Happy 800! Opportunity drove 33.5 meters (110 feet) today, crossing a few small ripples and driving over an outcrop.

Sol 801: After taking a pre-drive image, Opportunity drove 28.3 meters (93 feet), down a couple of troughs and over a couple of ripples. Slip checks were used to prevent excessive driving in potentially slippery areas.

Sol 802: This sol's 13.8 meter (45 feet) drive was designed to move Opportunity closer to some outcrop the team would like to analyze with the robotic arm over the weekend.

Sol 803: The outcrop that ended up in the rover's work volume was fragmented, and not a desirable target. Rover planners designed a short 8-meter (26 feet) drive to a better target. The data from this drive was received on Earth early Friday (April 28, 2006).

As of Sol 802, Opportunity's total odometry was 7,456.56 meters (4.63 miles)


sol 789-797, Apr 21, 2006: Making Progress Toward 'Victoria'

Opportunity is healthy and making good progress towards "Victoria Crater." The rover remains on a restricted schedule, driving only every other day. Last weekend, the rover stopped for some brief robotic arm work, to characterize the outcrop between "Erebus Crater" and Victoria Crater. Next week Opportunity is back to a normal schedule, and engineers hope to get the rover moving every day.

Sol-by-sol summaries:

Sol 789 (April 13, 2006): The plan was to drive to outcrop about 26 meters (85 feet) away. However, the drive stopped about 10 meters (33 feet) short by a slip check.

Sol 790: Opportunity conducted untargeted remote science.

Sol 791: The rover did some robotic arm work including: taking microscopic images and using the rock abrasion tool brush. The rover attempted a short alpha particle X-ray spectrometer integration; however it failed due to a sequencing error.

Sol 792: Opportunity drove about 35 meters (115 feet) over an outcrop and crossed a few ripples.

Sol 793: The rover conducted untargeted remote science.

Sol 794: Opportunity drove about 30 meters (98 feet) towards Victoria Crater.

Sol 795: The rover conducted untargeted remote science.

Sol 796: After taking pre-drive images of the target "Fort Leavenworth," the team plans to drive about 27 meters (86 feet) down a trough, with ripple crossings at the start and end.

Sol 797 (April 21, 2006): Opportunity did untargeted remote sensing, systematic ground surveys with the panoramic camera and miniature thermal emission spectrometer.

As of 794, Opportunity's total odometry was 7,334.56 meters (4.56 miles).


sol 785-790, Apr 18, 2006: Hoppin' Toward 'Victoria'

Opportunity is in a restricted planning mode this week due to each sol's downlink coming too late in the Earth day to allow planning of a drive for the next sol. The team built three drives this week and Opportunity drove 83.2 meters (273 feet). The general drive direction is southeast to avoid a large dune field due south. As of sol 788, Opportunity was estimated to be 1,557 meters (just under one mile) from "Victoria Crater."

Sol-by-sol summaries:

Sol 785 (April 9, 2006): On sol 785 Opportunity drove 58.9 meters (193 feet) south. After the drive, the panoramic camera and navigation camera made observations in the drive direction. Activities also included atmospheric remote sensing during the afternoon's communication relay session with the Mars Odyssey orbiter.

Sol 786: This sol's activities included a panoramic camera systematic ground survey, panoramic camera imaging of magnets, rearward looking navigation camera imaging, and two sky-and-ground observations with the miniature thermal emission spectrometer.

Sol 787: After targeted pre-drive panoramic camera observations of an outcrop, Opportunity drove 7.5 meters (25 feet) to the top of a dune. Imaging of the new location and atmospheric sensing during the afternoon Odyssey pass followed the drive.

Sol 788: The navigation camera took rearward-looking images for a mosaic. The panoramic camera checked the clarity of the atmosphere and surveyed the ground systematically. In the afternoon, the miniature thermal emission spectrometer made sky-and-ground observations.

Sol 789: Opportunity drove 16.8 meters.

Sol 790 (April 14, 2006): Planned activities included untargeted remote sensing.

As of 789, Opportunity's total odometry was 7,327.53 meters (4.55 miles).


sol 778-784, Apr 07, 2006: Ripples and Outcrops

Opportunity is healthy and is continuing to drive toward "Victoria Crater." Thanks to talented rover planners and sturdy construction, the rover covered a distance totaling about 170 meters (558 feet) during the week. The scenery has been beautiful and consistent: lots of ripples sprinkled with a dash of outcrops.

Sol-by-sol summaries:

Sol 778 (April 2, 2006): Opportunity drove 25.3 meters (83 feet) and used its navigation and panoramic cameras to image the area after the drive. The rover also observed the atmosphere.

Sol 779: The rover took 13-filter panoramic camera images to survey the ground near it. The miniature thermal emission spectrometer observed the sky and ground.

Sol 780: Opportunity drove 58.4 meters (192 feet), took navigation and panoramic camera images of the post-drive area, and conducted atmospheric and remote sensing.

Sol 781: The rover drove 32 meters (105 feet), used its navigation and panoramic cameras to image the post drive-area, and conducted atmospheric remote sensing.

Sol 782: Opportunity drove 45 meters (148 feet), used its navigation and panoramic cameras to image the post-drive area, and conducted atmospheric remote sensing.

Sols 783 and 784 (April 7 and 8, 2006): These sols' plans are for targeted remote sensing.

Total odometry: 7,249 meters (4.5 miles) as of end of sol 782.


sol 762-770, Mar 27, 2006: Continuing the Move Away from 'Erebus'

Opportunity is healthy and making progress away from "Erebus Crater." This week the rover drove nearly 180 meters (591 feet).

Sol-by-sol summaries:

Sol 762 (March 16, 2006): Opportunity started the sol in front of a long, flat trough and was able to drive just over 53 meters (174 feet) along this path.

Sol 763: The rover conducted atmospheric science and cloud observations.

Sol 764: Opportunity conducted targeted remote sensing, including panoramic camera images of "Red River Station" and "Kingfisher." It examined "Rush Springs" and "Red River Station" with the miniature thermal emission spectrometer. It also filmed three cloud movies at various times of day and did some other atmospheric science.

Sol 765: The rover drove 48.5 meters (159 feet), first over a small ripple, then down a trough to a patch of outcrop.

Sol 766: The rover drove 34.6 meters (114 feet), first down a trough, then crossing a few small ripples.

Sol 767: Opportunity drove approximately 44 meters (144 feet) over a few small ripples. Since there was no outcrop along the day's drive path, the team used more frequent slip checks. Before the drive, Opportunity acquired panoramic camera images of some nearby outcrop.

Sol 768: The Odyssey orbiter went into safe mode before Opportunity's afternoon UHF relay pass, so the team didn't have any information on how the rover performed on sol 767. For sol 768 the team planned a 70-minute direct-to-Earth communication session. Mars is getting farther from Earth, and even with a Deep Space Network dish antenna 34 meters (112 feet) in diameter, the slow downlink rate yielded only 6 megabits of data. However, this was enough to indicate that the planned activities on sol 767, including the drive, had been completed successfully.

Sol 769: Odyssey was still recovering from safe mode. Since the UHF downlink capability was unavailable, the planned activities for Opportunity for the day were only to collect two tau readings. (Tau is a measure of atmospheric opacity. Determining it requires very little data volume.) The rover did not use the deep-sleep mode.

Sol 770 (March 24, 2006): The sol's activities were planned knowing that the day could be the earliest that the rovers might regain communication-relay support from Odyssey. The team is planned several tau observations and a scan of sky and ground by the miniature thermal emission spectrometer. Opportunity did use the deep sleep mode.

Total odometry as of sol 768 (March 22, 2006): 6,908 meters (4.29 miles)


sol 757-763, Mar 19, 2006: Parting With 'Payson'

Opportunity has finished science observations at the "Payson" outcrop. Since the rover was operating in restricted mode, the team could plan a drive only every other day. Even so, Opportunity started the journey away from the rim of "Erebus." Back on the regular schedule, the team next plans to drive the rover farther south.

Sol-by-sol summaries:

Sol 757 (March 11, 2006): At the start of the sol, Opportunity was perched at an entrance to a second "half-pipe," the team's term for shallow troughs near the Payson outcrop in Erebus crater. There was more rubble and less nicely layered outcrop than at the previous half-pipe, and a dune blocked the exit to the south. The team decided to drive part-way in for outcrop imaging. Before the drive, Opportunity's panoramic camera acquired images of a target called "Yuman." The rover drove roughly 20 meters (66 feet) and then acquired standard post-drive imaging plus a panoramic camera mosaic of target "Hokan," and a miniature thermal emission spectrometer scan of the same target. The next morning the rover collected part two of the Hokan panorama.

Sol 758: Opportunity drove about 17 meters (about 56 feet) back out of the half-pipe, with a quick stop mid-way to collect a small panoramic camera mosaic of target "Yavapai." At the end of this sol, Opportunity had completed all planned science at Erebus and was ready to start driving south.

Sol 759: This sol was a recharge day, with a few atmospheric and cloud observations.

Sol 760: On the road again! This sol, Opportunity completed a 33.5-meter (110-foot) drive south over a patch of outcrop, then down the trough of two dunes.

Sol 761: The rover conducted observations of the atmosphere and the ground with the panoramic camera and the miniature thermal emission spectrometer.

Sol 762: Opportunity started the sol in front of a long, flat trough. The team planned a drive of approximately 50 meters (164 feet) south along this path.

Sol 763 (March 17, 2006): The team planned atmosphere and cloud observations.

Total odometry as of sol 761 (March 15, 2006): 6735.31 meters (approximately 4.2 miles).


sol 751-756, Mar 11, 2006: Hawkeyeing from the 'Half Pipes'

Opportunity is healthy and making its way south along the "Payson" outcrop of "Erebus Crater." The traverse paths are known within the team as "half-pipes," after the popular Olympic event. Last week Opportunity drove along one half-pipe, collecting high-resolution panoramic camera images of the outcrop. (The team calls this "scoot and shoot"). The rover has now left this path, and the team has planned a drive to the next half-pipe. Depending on traversability, Opportunity will either continue its scoot-and-shoot outcrop imaging campaign over the weekend, or start down the road to "Victoria Crater."

Sol-by-sol summaries:

Sol 751 (March 5, 2006): Opportunity drove a short bump, took mid-drive panoramic camera images of the outcrop, then drove about 8 meters (about 26 feet) along the "half-pipe."

Sol 752: The rover did untargeted remote sensing this sol, including atmospheric science and systematic foreground studies with the navigation camera and the miniature thermal emission spectrometer. Systematic foreground studies means gathering a set of consistent observations of different objects right in front of the rover.

Sol 753: Opportunity took pre-drive panoramic camera images of a cobble, drove 4 meters (13 feet), imaged the outcrop, then drove about 11 meters (36 feet) out of the first half-pipe towards the next one. It also acquired post-drive imaging.

Sol 754: Opportunity conducted systematic foreground studies with the panoramic camera and the miniature thermal emission spectrometer. The rover also did some atmospheric science.

Sol 755: Opportunity drove about 19 meters (about 62 feet) to the edge of the half-pipe and acquired post-drive imaging to determine traversability.

Sol 756 (March 10, 2006): The plan for the sol is to conduct atmospheric science, including an attempt to observe clouds.

Total odometry as of sol 753 (March 7, 2006): 6645.57 meters (4.13 miles)


sol 744-750, Mar 03, 2006: Reading the Rocks

This week, Opportunity is traversing its way alongside the outcrop "Payson." The team is running in restricted sols, so most of the plans are short (about 10 meters or 33 feet) drives on one sol, followed by remote sensing at the new location. The team continues to command Opportunity to unstow its robotic arm at the end of each drive, as done successfully on sols 745 and 747. This strategy allows Opportunity to drive with the arm safely stowed in its designed position and then unstow it before another night of stressful changes in temperature.

Sol-by-sol summaries:

Sol 744 (Feb. 26, 2006): Opportunity conducted targeted remote sensing at Payson. First the rover took an image of a target called "Dude Ranger" with the panoramic camera. Later it completed two targeted stares with the miniature thermal emission spectrometer on "Mysterious Rider" and "Rainbow Trail."

Sol 745: This sol began with some atmospheric observations with the thermal emission spectrometer and the panoramic camera. Opportunity also took panoramic camera images of magnets. After data was sent, the rover stowed its arm and drove 10.18 meters (33.4 feet). Following the drive, Opportunity unstowed its arm, and used the navigation camera and panoramic camera to take images from the new location. The team then had Opportunity go into deep sleep mode.

Sol 746: Opportunity performed untargeted remote sensing, including more panoramic camera images of Payson, miniature thermal emission spectrometer stares at sky and ground, and other panoramic camera imaging.

Sol 747: This sol's blind drive started with a 0.75 meter (2.5 feet) bump backwards with a heading change of 10 degrees to avoid a rock in Opportunity's path. Once clear of the rock, the drive continued with a slip check 5.6 meters (18.4 feet) in and finished 11.5 meters (37.7 feet) down the pipeline. Opportunity stowed before the drive and unstowed it afterwards. The rover reached a position about 5 meters (16.4 feet) away from Payson outcrop.

Sol 748: Opportunity used the panoramic camera to take a 13-filter image of Payson, "Wilderness Track," and "Maverick Queen." It also used the miniature thermal emission spectrometer on the same targets, and relayed data home via NASA's Mars Odyssey orbiter.

Sol 749: Plans call for this to be the first of two sols in a row of targeted remote sensing on Payson. Opportunity is still sitting about 5 meters (16.4 feet) away from the outcrop and taking panoramic camera images of targets "Code of the West," "Deer Stalker," "Twin Sombreros," "Thunder Mountain," and "Fugitive Trail." Opportunity will stay up after the Odyssey pass for miniature thermal emission spectrometer stares on the afternoon's panoramic camera targets before shutting down for deep sleep.

Sol 750 (March 4, 2006): More targeted remote sensing is planned at Payson with panoramic camera snapshots in the early morning before the high-gain antenna data pass to get better light on the outcrop. Opportunity is not getting deep sleep tonight in order to support the morning Odyssey pass to achieve greater data volume return.

Total Odometry as of sol 749 (March 3, 2006): 6616.97 meters (4.11 miles)


sol 735-743, Feb 24, 2006: Opportunity Continues to Skirt Erebus Crater

After completing work at the outcrop called "Olympia," Opportunity proceeded around the western edge of "Erebus Crater" toward an outcrop dubbed "Payson." After performing diagnostic tests on Martian day, or sol, 735 (Feb. 17, 2006), the rover team decided to increase rotor resistance from 65 ohms to 80 ohms for stowing and unstowing the robotic arm. Opportunity successfully stowed and unstowed the arm on both sols 740 and 741. As long as the robotic arm remains in calibration, the higher resistance value provides no additional risk.

Sol-by-sol summaries:

Sol 735 (Feb. 17, 2006): Opportunity conducted diagnostic activities on its robotic arm, making small movements of the shoulder joint with rotor resistance set at 75 ohms. If the arm were to fault out during any of the motions, the rover would clear the fault and re-set the resistance first to 80 ohms, and then to 85 ohms. However, the arm completed all motions successfully with rotor resistance set at 75 ohms.

Sol 736: The rover team attempted for a second time to send instructions via X-band frequencies for a drive to a target called "Zane Grey," but a Deep Space Network transmitter was down. The team did receive data from Opportunity over the same communications link.

Sol 737: Rover planners sent instructions to Opportunity for the second two days of the original three-day plan. Opportunity made atmospheric observations and measurements of the intensity of astronomical objects.

Sol 738: Opportunity continued to make remote atmospheric observations and photometric measurements.

Sol 739: Opportunity completed planned photometric measurements.

Sol 740: Opportunity began the planned drive to Zane Grey, stowing and unstowing the robotic arm with rotor resistance set at 80 ohms on the shoulder joint that controls compass direction. The rover halted after moving 21 centimeters (8 inches) when the right middle wheel reached the maximum current allowed. Motor currents on the other wheels remained nominal. Rover planners reduced the current limits after leaving "Purgatory Dune" to help prevent another imbedding event.

Sol 741: Opportunity drove 34.5 meters (113 feet) closer to the Payson outcrop after rover drivers set the current limits back to nominal values. Motor currents at the start of the drive were a bit higher than normal but dropped closer to normal values as the drive progressed.

Sol 742: Science team members planned to have Opportunity drive about 40 meters (130 feet) closer to "Payson" and acquire images from a distance of 20 meters (65 feet) over the weekend.

As of sol 742 (Feb. 24, 2006), Opportunity's total odometry was 6553.93 meters (4.07 miles).


sol 729-735, Feb 16, 2006: Inspecting 'Bellemont'

Opportunity has completed its work on the "Olympia" outcrop. This week's activities included a Mössbauer spectrometer integration on target "Rough Rider," an alpha particle X-ray spectrometer integration on target "Fala," and a short drive to "Bellemont." Also the rover took microscopic imager mosaics of four targets at Bellemont. A team continuing to study occasional problems with the shoulder joint in Opportunity's robotic arm planned a series of diagnostic motions for the arm for sol 735.

Sol-by-sol summaries:

Sol 729 (Feb. 10, 2006): Opportunity continued using the Mössbauer spectrometer on Rough Rider and performed targeted remote sensing.

Sol 730: The rover finished using the Mössbauer spectrometer on Rough Rider, made atmospheric observations, and used the alpha particle X-ray spectrometer overnight on target Fala.

Sol 731: The rover stowed its arm, made a short drive to Bellemont and then unstowed the arm. This pattern of stow, drive and unstow is what the team intends to use for longer drives.

Sol 732: Opportunity used the microscopic imager at Bellemont. Four targets were identified. Opportunity acquired images of three ("Vicos," "Tara" and "Chaco") before a stall in the shoulder joint's azimuth motor halted the sequence.

Sol 733: Opportunity continued using the microscopic imager at Bellemont. Opportunity acquired images from the fourth target ("Verdun"), but a stall stopped the arm before it could get the last two planned images of the Chaco target.

Sol 734: The plan for this sol was to stow the arm, drive about 36 meters (118 feet) to an area known as "Zane Grey," and unstow the arm. The arm stalled just before it reached the ready position (before stowing), and the drive did not occur.

Sol 735 (Feb. 16, 2006): The plan for this sol includes remote sensing and a short diagnostic activity for the arm.

Total odometry as of sol 735: 6518.87 meters (4.05 miles)


sol 723-728, Feb 10, 2006: Finishing Up at 'Olympia'

Opportunity is healthy. The rover is in the midst of a robotic-arm and remote-sensing campaign on a feature informally named "Roosevelt." Last week Opportunity used its microscopic imager, Mössbauer spectrometer and alpha particle X-ray spectrometer to examine "Overgaard."

The short-term goal is to finish studying the "Olympia" outcrop by mid next week. The final feature that will be characterized in this location is called "Bellemont."

Sol-by-sol summaries:

Sol 723 (Feb. 4, 2006): Finished the microscopic-imager mosaic on Overgaard.

Sol 724: Stowed the robotic arm in the hover position. Attempted a short drive to Roosevelt, but the drive ended early due to suspension limits.

Sol 725: Succeeded in short drive to Roosevelt.

Sol 726: Used alpha particle X-ray spectrometer and Mössbauer spectrometer on a target called "Rough Rider."

Sol 727: Used the microscopic imager for an image mosaic of Roosevelt.

Sol 728: Continued using the Mössbauer spectrometer on Rough Rider.

Acquired high-resolution images of surrounding outcrops with the panoramic camera.

Total odometry as of sol 728 (Feb. 9, 2006): 6,509.8 meters (4.045 miles)


sol 715-721, Feb 02, 2006: Mozart on Mars

Opportunity is healthy and is continuing the characterization of an outcrop called "Olympia." The rover is on top of a feature called "Overgaard." The plan is to complete a mosaic with the microscopic imager, then drive toward a feature called "Roosevelt" and examine it with tools on the robotic arm.

The informal names of targets on Overgaard are related to Mozart, marking his 250th birthday on Jan. 27.

Sol-by-sol summaries:

Sol 715 and 716 (Jan. 27 and 28, 2006): Used the microscopic imager on "Branchwater" and "Bourbon."

Sol 717: Bumped to Overgaard to do an extensive mosaic with the microscopic imager.

Sol 718: Conducted untargeted remote sensing (atmospheric science).

Sol 719: Planned use of the microscopic imager on targets "Don_Giovanni," "Salzburg" and "Nachtmusik," but a robotic arm error occurred during the work on Salzburg.

Sol 720: Conducted untargeted remote sensing.

Sol 721 (Feb. 2, 2006): Cleared the errors for another attempt to use the microscopic imager on Overgaard.

Opportunity's total odometry as of sol 721 is 6,505 meters (4.04 miles).


sol 708-714, Jan 27, 2006: Opportunity Takes Microscopic Images, Collaborates with European Mars Mission

Opportunity remains healthy following another busy week. The main activity of the week was taking microscopic images of a feature nicknamed "Lower Overgaard." The science team identified individual, high-priority targets of interest, nicknamed "Scotch," "Bourbon," and "Branchwater." After the microscopic imager successfully acquired images of "Scotch," one of the actuator motors on Opportunity's robotic arm (Joint 2, which controls elevation) stalled less than 1 milliradian from its final position. Engineers performed diagnostic activities on Joint 2 over the weekend and determined that the actuator appeared to function properly. Opportunity resumed work with the microscopic imager but was unsuccessful because of a stall on the Joint 1 actuator. Engineers increased the electrical resistance and Opportunity again began acquiring microscopic images.

This past week, Opportunity also supported coordinated observations with the European Space Agency's Mars Express spacecraft, using the miniature thermal emission spectrometer and panoramic camera, and also took images of a transit across the sun by Phobos. Science team members next plan to adjust the rover's position slightly to conduct microscopic analysis of another target area, nicknamed "Upper Overgaard."

Sol-by-sol summaries:

Sol 708 (Jan. 21, 2006): Opportunity took microscopic images of a surface target dubbed Scotch on Lower Overgaard. Microscopic imaging was successful, but the Joint 2 (elevation) actuator motor on the rover's robotic arm stalled less than 1 milliradian from its final position.

Sol 709: Opportunity conducted diagnostics of Joint 2 during the weekend and acquired images of a Phobos transit.

Sol 710: Opportunity conducted remote science observations and supported Mars Express observations using the miniature thermal emission spectrometer and panoramic camera.

Sol 711: Opportunity took thumbnail images of the sky and images of Mars' albedo (a measure of surface reflectivity) with the panoramic camera in support of a coordinated observations by Mars Express.

Sol 712: Opportunity took super-high-resolution images of targets known as "Loupp" and "Dewey" with the panoramic camera.

Sol 713: As Opportunity began executing a plan to take microscopic images of the Bourbon target on Lower Overgaard, a joint on the rover's robotic arm (Joint 1, which controls shoulder azimuth) stalled, preventing acquisition of the microscopic images.

Sol 714 (Jan. 27, 2006): Opportunity re-acquired some of the microscopic images of the target Scotch that were not fully in focus when first taken on sol 708 (Jan. 21, 2006).

As of sol 714, Opportunity's total odometry remained at 6504.55 meters (4.04 miles).


sol 695-707, Jan 20, 2006: Driving Again

Opportunity has resumed driving after engineers determined an acceptable new way to stow the robotic arm during drives. With the arm in the newly approved stow configuration, the rover drove 2.4 meters (7.9 feet) on sol 707 (Jan. 19, 2006) to approach a rock called "Overgaard," chosen for close examination because of its cross-lamination texture.

When the European Space Agency's Mars Express orbiter was passing overhead, Opportunity used its panoramic camera and miniature thermal emission spectrometer for atmospheric observations coordinated with observations by the orbiter. The short Phobos and Deimos eclipse season started this week, and Opportunity observed transits of the moons.

Earlier, Opportunity completed a very long integration with the Mössbauer spectrometer and an overnight integration with the alpha particle X-ray spectrometer on a target called "Ted." The panoramic camera finished high-resolution imaging of the area around the location where the rover worked for several weeks while engineers determined the new ways to use and stow the arm. Symptoms of a broken wire in a shoulder-joint motor had appeared back on sol 654 (Nov. 25, 2005). While at that location, Opportunity also put its arm into various positions and photographed it with the front hazard-avoidance camera, a calibration activity that the team dubbed "Martian Tai Chi."

Sol-by-sol summaries:

Sol 695 (Jan. 6, 2006): Continued Mössbauer spectrometer integration at Ted, sunset imaging, high-resolution imaging of an area with evidence of festooned crossbedding.

Sol 696: Overnight alpha particle X-ray spectrometer integration at Ted, imaging with the navigation camera for terrain and driving analysis.

Sol 697: Sky flat imaging with the microscopic imager, panoramic camera and navigation camera for image calibration. Normally the team would have stowed the robotic arm today (since arm work at this location is done), but since engineers have not yet determined the best stow position, we simply returned the arm to the ready position.

Sol 698: Observations with the miniature thermal emission spectrometer and navigation camera, calibration activity the team calls "Martian Tai Chi." During this activity, the arm is commanded to a few different positions and the front hazard-avoidance camera acquires images at each position. The arm location as reported by the spacecraft is compared to the location shown in the images so the arm model and camera model can be calibrated against each other.

Sol 699: Photometry observations with the navigation camera, start of acquiring a high-resolution blue stereo panorama of the surrounding outcrop (the "Fenway Panorama").

Sol 700: Miniature thermal emission spectrometer observations of the atmosphere and several outcrop targets, continued photometry observations.

Sol 701: Completion of Fenway Panorama and photometric observations.

Sol 702: Thirteen-filter observations of Overgaard with the panoramic camera, atmospheric remote sensing.

Sols 703 to 705: Intended stowing of the robotic arm on sol 704 was not successful due to faulting out of the shoulder-joint motor. The miniature thermal emission spectrometer made atmospheric observations coordinated with an overflight by Mars Express on sol 705. The panoramic camera was used for some super-resolution imaging.

Sol 706: Successful stowing of robotic arm, panoramic camera observations coordinated with Mars Express, observation of Deimos transit. The resistance for the shoulder azimuth joint was increased to 65 ohms (from 58 ohms) for this stow.

Sol 707: Opportunity drove back 1 meter (3.3 feet), took images, then drove forward 1.4 meters (4.6 feet) to a target called "Lower Overgaard."

As of sol 707 (Jan. 19, 2006) Opportunity's total odometry is 6,504.55 meters (4.04 miles).


sol 681-694, Jan 06, 2006: Putting the Arm on 'Ted'

The rover team has kept Opportunity productive while engineers continue to evaluate the best posture for carrying the robotic arm when the rover resumes driving. The arm's position can be manipulated for full use of all the tools on the arm despite symptoms that suggest a broken wire in the winding of a shoulder-joint motor of the arm. The choice of a new position for carrying the arm during drives is a precaution against having the arm stuck in a stowed position if that motor becomes unusable in the future.

Opportunity's recent activities have included imaging of Jupiter, observing the atmosphere on every sol, progress on a multi-filter panorama of "Erebus Crater," and long integrations with the Mössbauer spectrometer and alpha particle X-ray spectrometer on targets "Ted" and "Hunt."

Sol-by-sol summaries:

Sols 681 to 683 (Dec. 23 to Dec. 25, 2005): Mössbauer spectrometer integration on Ted, panoramic camera observations and atmospheric observations.

Sol 684: Post-brush microscopic image of Ted and Mössbauer integration on Ted.

Sol 685: Mössbauer integration on Ted and panoramic camera images of targets "Claypool," "Paulden" and "Vernon".

Sol 686: Arm move to Hunt plus microscopic image of Hunt and alpha particle X-ray spectrometer integration.

Sols 687 to 690: Mössbauer integration on Hunt and remote sensing.

Sol 691: Rock abrasion tool grind of Ted, post-grind microscopic imaging of Ted, and Mössbauer integration on Ted.

Sols 692 to 694 (Jan. 3 to Jan. 5, 2006): Continued Mössbauer integration on Ted and more images for the Erebus panorama.

USA.gov
PRIVACY    |     FAQ    |     SITEMAP    |     CREDITS