Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
  Mars Exploration News  




Subscribe to our free daily newsletters



Multi-Tasking Rover Supports Multiple Missions

The rover.
by Staff Writers
Pasadena CA (JPL) Dec 04, 2007
Opportunity continues to investigate the rock exposure known as "Smith2" in the second of three bathtub ring-like layers of rock inside "Victoria Crater" as well as test communications for Phoenix, NASA's next mission to Mars. The rover is healthy and all subsystems are normal.

On Sol 1361 (Nov. 22, 2007), Opportunity performed diagnostic tests of the shoulder joint that controls side-to-side movement of the robotic arm, known as Joint 1. The joint had stalled on Sol 1359 (Nov. 20, 2007) while the rover waas taking measurements with the microscopic imager. The tests revealed no anomalous readings. Opportunity acquired the rest of the microscopic images of Smith 2 on Sol 1366 (Nov. 27, 2007).

After the diagnostic tests, Opportunity studied the elemental chemistry of Smith2 with the alpha-particle X-ray spectrometer and the composition and abundance of iron-bearing minerals in the outcrop with the Moessbauer spectrometer.

Working with NASA's Reconnaissance Orbiter, Opportunity successfully tested UHF radio transmissions in support of entry, descent, landing, and surface operations of the Phoenix mission, now en route to the red planet. On Sol 1367 (Nov. 28, 2007), the rover and the orbiter used the international standard known as the Proximity-1 protocol for spacecraft data transfers.

Phoenix is expected to arrive at Mars on May 25, 2008. Radio signals from Phoenix may also be receivable directly via the Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope in Virginia, the world's largest, fully steerable radio telescope.

Sol-by-sol summary:

In addition to morning uplinks directly from Earth via the rover's high-gain antenna, evening downlinks to Earth via the Odyssey orbiter at UHF frequencies, and standard measurements of atmospheric opacity caused by dust using the panoramic and navigation cameras, Opportunity completed the following activities:

Sol 1361 (Nov. 22, 2007): Opportunity performed diagnostic tests of the robotic arm, placed the alpha-particle X-ray spectrometer on the target known as Smith2, and collected 6 hours of data with the instrument. The rover went into a mini-deep sleep and upon awakening the next morning, scanned the sky for clouds with the navigation camera.

Sol 1362: Opportunity placed the Moessbauer spectrometer on Smith2 and spent 10 hours collecting data with the instrument. The rover went into a mini-deep sleep and the next morning, searched for clouds with the navigation camera.

Sol 1363: Opportunity restarted the Moessbauer spectrometer and collected 12 hours of compositional data with the instrument. The rover acquired a mosaic of images that are part of a panoramic view of a light-toned exposure of sedimentary rock known as "Pettijohn." The next morning, the rover scanned the sky for clouds with the navigation camera.

Sol 1364: Opportunity restarted the Moessbauer spectrometer and collected an additional 11 hours of compositional data from Smith2 with the instrument. The rover scanned the sky for clouds with the navigation camera.

Sol 1365: Opportunity restarted the Moessbauer spectrometer and collected 12 hours of compositional data from Smith2 with the instrument. The rover acquired "Part 3" of the panoramic-camera mosaic of Pettijohn.

Sol 1366: Opportunity switched tools from the Moessbauer spectrometer to the microscopic imager and acquired microscopic images looking up at the sky for calibration purposes. The rover also took external images of the microscopic imager with the hazard avoidance cameras. Opportunity then acquired stereo microscopic images of Smith2. Opportunity switched tools from the microscopic imager to the rock abrasion tool and acquired "Part 4" of the Pettijohn panorama. The next morning, Opportunity scanned the sky for clouds with the navigation camera, surveyed the horizon with the panoramic camera, and took spot images of the sky with the panoramic camera.

Sol 1367 (Nov. 28, 2007): Plans called for Opportunity to scan the sky for clouds with the navigation camera and take thumbnail images of the sky with the panoramic camera.

Odometry: As of sol 1366 (Nov. 27, 2007), Opportunity's total odometry remained at 11,584.32 meters (7.2 miles), where the rover has been stationed since the last drive on Sol 1329 (Oct. 20, 2007).

Community
Email This Article
Comment On This Article

Related Links
Mars News and Information at MarsDaily.com
Lunar Dreams and more



Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News


Spirit Breaks Free In Race For Survival
Pasadena CA (JPL) Dec 04, 2007
In typical unflagging fashion, Spirit has managed to break free of piles of soil built up around the wheels in a low, sandy area that the rover's handlers have nicknamed "Tartarus," after a deep, underworld dungeon in Greek mythology. Team members are pulling out all the stops to get Spirit to a winter location where, based on solar power projections, the rover has a chance at survival.









  • Nuclear Power In Space - Part 2
  • Outside View: Nuclear future in space
  • Nuclear Power In Space
  • Could NASA Get To Pluto Faster? Space Expert Says Yes - By Thinking Nuclear

  • Northrop Grumman Starts Integration And Test On LCROSS Spacecraft
  • Data From Chinese Lunar Orbiter Available To All
  • KAGUYA (SELENE) Composes 3-D Movies With Terrain Camera Images
  • China Publishes First Moon Picture

  • MU Engineers Develop Software Solution For Complex Space Missions
  • Computer predicts Voyager 2 milestone
  • Star Talk
  • Computer Simulation Predicts Voyager 2 Will Reach Major Milestone In Late 2007¿Early 2008

  • The PI's Perspective: Autumn 2007: Onward to the Kuiper Belt
  • Data For The Next Generations
  • Goddard Instrument Makes Cover Of Science
  • Checking Out New Horizons

  • Rethinking Jupiter
  • Jovian Magnetosphere Circulates Magnetic Field Very Differently From Earth
  • New Horizons' SWAP instrument Reveals Complex Structure, Diverse Plasma Populations In Jupiter's Magnetotail
  • Polar lightning - not just an earthly phenomenon: study

  • The Venusian Climate And Its Evolution
  • Caught In The Wind From The Sun
  • Earth-like Venus
  • Venus inferno due to 'runaway greenhouse effect', say scientists

  • Organic Building Blocks Discovered In Titan's Atmosphere
  • New CU-Boulder Study Confirms First-Known Belt Of Moonlets In Saturn Rings
  • Cassini Pinpoints Hot Sources Of Jets On Enceladus
  • Inspiring Views Celebrate Cassini's Diamond Anniversary

  • Blue Dye Could Hold The Key To Super Processing Power
  • 40th Anniversary Of Australia's First Satellite
  • ESA And Inmarsat Sign Innovative Alphasat Satellite Contract
  • Dude, Big Screen TVs, Flexible Electronics And Surfboards Made From Same New Material

  • The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2007 - SpaceDaily.AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement