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. Imaging Alicante At Crater Victoria

The dark streaks can be seen at the top of this MRO image.
by Staff Writers
Pasadena CA (JPL) Apr 25, 2007
Over the last week, Opportunity investigated the second of two "dark streak" soil targets named "Alicante." The sol 1145 Mossbauer touch sequence that was commanded did not make contact with the soil because of a minor targeting discrepancy.

Since the Mossbauer touch is used as a reference point for determining where to start taking the microscopic images, the lack of contact caused the images taken sol 1145 to be out of focus. As a result, the team decided to stay another two sols and reacquire the in-situ observations on Alicante. Now, Opportunity is headed southeast towards "Tierra del Fuego" to begin another remote sensing campaign.

Each sol includes a mini-miniature thermal emission spectrometer sky and ground observation in the morning, right before transitioning to the next sol's master sequence.

Sol 1145 (April 14, 2007): On this sol, the rover was scheduled to touch the ground with its Mossbauer spectrometer. After the touch, microscopic images were taken and then the alpha particle X-ray spectrometer was placed on the soil target Alicante. The rover's panoramic camera imaged targets "Huesca" and "Granada." Before the Mars Odyssey pass, the panoramic camera took a tau measurement. During the Odyssey pass, the miniature thermal emission spectrometer took a sky and ground measurement. The alpha particle X-ray spectrometer was integrated for about six hours. Also, there were four miniature thermal emission spectrometer thermal inertia observations at various times of day.

Sol 1146: The rover changed tools to the Mossbauer spectrometer and integrated for 12 hours. The panoramic camera completed a high-sun survey while the navigation camera supported the miniature thermal emission spectrometer. The panoramic camera imaged "Cordoba" and "Colmenero." The miniature thermal emission spectrometer conducted a 7-pt sky and ground observation and the panoramic camera took a tau measurement.

Sol 1147: During the morning of this sol, the panoramic camera examined the sky and the horizon. The rover then restarted the Mossbauer spectrometer and integrated for 12 hours. The miniature thermal emission spectrometer then got busy by taking a low-angle sky measurement, then completing a sky and ground observation and then, ultimately, staring at its calibration target. Before the Odyssey pass, the rover took a tau measurement with its panoramic camera.

Sol 1148: In the morning of this sol, the panoramic camera took thumbnail images of the sky. Again the Mossbauer spectrometer was commanded to touch the soil and the microscopic imager took pictures. The rover then placed the alpha particle X-ray spectrometer on Alicante. The miniature thermal emission spectrometer took a sky and ground measurement and the panoramic camera took a tau measurement. Before the Odyssey pass a tau measurement was taken and, during the pass, the miniature thermal emission spectrometer observed the sky and ground. After the Odyssey pass, the alpha particle X-ray spectrometer was integrated on Alicante for about six hours.

Sol 1149: Opportunity looked for clouds with its navigation camera this morning. The rover then placed the Mossbauer spectrometer on Alicante and integrated for about 12 hours. The miniature thermal emission spectrometer conducted thermal inertia stares as well as a sky and ground measurement. The panoramic camera took a 13-filter image of target "Granada." Before the Odyssey pass, the rover took a tau measurement and, during the pass, the miniature thermal emission spectrometer conducted a sky and ground observation.

Sol 1150: Opportunity woke up this sol and had a look at the sky with its panoramic and navigation cameras. The miniature thermal emission spectrometer also conducted a thermal inertia stare in the morning. The rover bumped back 1 meter (3.3 feet) and took a panoramic camera 13-filter image of Alicante. Opportunity then drove 42.79 meters (140.39 feet) towards Tierra del Fuego. After the drive, the rover took images with its hazard avoidance, navigation and panoramic cameras. Before the Odyssey pass, the rover took a tau measurement and, during the pass, the miniature thermal emission spectrometer conducted a sky and ground observation.

Sol 1151: The rover woke up and conducted a sky survey (including a high-sun survey). The miniature thermal emission spectrometer was busy with a 7-point sky and ground observation and a stare at the ground immediately in front of the rover. The panoramic camera also imaged the ground in front of the rover with its 13 filters.

As of sol 1150, Opportunity's total odometry is 10,486.20 meters (6.52 miles).

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Spirit Continues Studies Of Rocks Near Home Plate
Pasadena CA (JPL) Apr 24, 2007
After a few attempts, Spirit finally made it to the outcrop called "Madeline English," where the rover is performing scientific studies. Madeline English is interesting because of the apparent presence of clasts -- rock fragments -- in the outcrop. Scientists are interested in determining whether the clasts have a different composition from surrounding material.

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