by Staff Writers
Pasadena CA (JPL) Sep 12, 2017
Opportunity is continuing the winter exploration of "Perseverance Valley" on the west rim of Endeavour Crater.
Winter is constraining the available energy, so the project has the rover doing "hops" (drives) from one energy-favorable "lily pad" to the next. (These lily pads are locations where the terrain is tilted sufficiently to the north to maximize the Sun illumination on the rover's solar panels.)
At these lily pad locations, Opportunity has been conducting an extensive stereo survey of the morphology (form and shape) of "Perseverance Valley."
These data will be combined from throughout the valley to generate a complete digital elevation model that scientists will use to address questions about the valley's formation and origin. But even with the favorable lily pads, the rover still has to spend some days recharging where to rover only wakes briefly for communication and sleeps the rest of the day.
For the past period, the rover has remained in place collecting extensive Panoramic Camera (Pancam) and Navigation Camera (Navcam) imagery when power permits. Sols 4835, 4837, 4838 and 4839 (Aug. 30, Sept. 1, Sept. 2 and Sept. 3, 2017), were recharge sols.
As of Sol 4841 (Sept. 5, 2017), the solar array energy production was 285 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.533 and a solar array dust factor of 0.507.
Total odometry is 27.97 miles (45.02 kilometers).
Pasadena CA (JPL) Sep 01, 2017
Opportunity is exploring "Perseverance Valley" on the west rim of Endeavour crater as mission planners prepare to park the rover for a winter layover. Winter substainally constrains the energy levels of the rover, such that the program has been exercising the strategy of driving the rover from one energy-favorable "lily pad" to the next. These lily pads are locations where the terrai ... read more
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