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Mars Rover Opportunity continuing science campaign at Perseverance Valley
by Staff Writers
Pasadena CA (JPL) Jul 03, 2017

Perseverance Valley - Sol 4712.

Opportunity is at the top of "Perseverance Valley" on the rim of Endeavour Crater. The rover is completing the remaining science as part of a walkabout campaign above Perseverance Valley before the solar conjunction moratorium in July.

Although there are new considerations regarding steering (no use of the front steering actuators), Opportunity is continuing to drive. Solar conjunction is when the Sun comes between Earth and Mars, which occurs about once every 26 months.

During this time, there will be diminished communications to Opportunity.

On Sol 4767 (June 21, 2017), the rover headed southwest at just over 46 feet (14 meters). And as is typical, Navigation Camera (Navcam) and Panoramic Camera (Pancam) were collected at the end of the drive.

On Sol 4769 (June 23, 2017), Opportunity drove again towards the northeast just over 33 feet (10 meters). These drives have been employing "tank steering" that does not require the use of the steering actuators, instead differentially runs the wheels on either side of the rover.

On Sol 4772 (June 26, 2017), Opportunity drove just about 26 feet (8 meters), but this time used the rear steering actuators to perform a gentle arc and finished the drive with a turn-in-place that toes-in both rear wheels.

On Sol 4773 (June 27, 2017), the test of the right-front steering actuator was tried, after more than 12 years of inactivity. No motion was observed, although another test is planned.

As of Sol 4773 (June 27, 2017), the solar array energy production was 336 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.771 and a solar array dust factor of 0.535.

Total odometry is 27.90 miles (44.90 kilometers).

Mars rover Opportunity on walkabout near crater rim
Pasadena CA (JPL) Jun 26, 2017
NASA's senior Mars rover, Opportunity, is examining rocks at the edge of Endeavour Crater for signs that they may have been either transported by a flood or eroded in place by wind. Those scenarios are among the possible explanations rover-team scientists are considering for features seen just outside the crater rim's crest above "Perseverance Valley," which is carved into the inner slope ... read more

Related Links
Solar conjunction at Mars
Mars News and Information at
Lunar Dreams and more

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