Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
  Mars Exploration News  

Subscribe free to our newsletters via your

New Year yields interesting bright soil for Opportunity rover
by Staff Writers
Pasadena CA (JPL) Jan 09, 2017

illustration only

Opportunity is located on the rim of Endeavour crater, heading south along the rim. The near-term plan is to reach a valley called "Willamette" where grooves are seen in orbital imagery.

Just before the holidays, the rover encountered some difficult, steep terrain. As the rover tried to advance up 20-degree slopes, the wheels began to dig up the soil and progress slowed to a near stop.

Sensing this, the rover stopped her drive and waited.

So, on Sol 4590 (Dec. 22, 2016), the team had Opportunity back down a short, 2-foot (70-cm) distance to put the rover on a more solid footing.

Before we could continue with rover activities through the holidays, Mars Odyssey went into "safe mode," an event that prevented relay data return from Opportunity. The rover was patient for several sols and in good health.

With Odyssey back, on Sol 4601 (January 2, 2017) Opportunity moved another 6.6 feet (2 meters) to get a good look of the terrain that was disturbed during the up-hill driving challenge.

The disturbed soil reveals brightly colored, unconsolidated material that is of great interest to the science team. So, the plan ahead is to use the rover's robotic arm instruments to investigate this bright soil.

As of Sol 4602, (January 3, 2017) the solar array energy production is 520 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.752 and a solar array dust factor of 0.683.

Total odometry is 27.17 miles (43.74 kilometers).

Comment on this article using your Disqus, Facebook, Google or Twitter login.

Thanks for being here;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.

SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once

credit card or paypal
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5 Billed Monthly

paypal only


Related Links
Opportunity Archive at JPL
Mars News and Information at
Lunar Dreams and more

Share this article via these popular social media networks DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Previous Report
Opportunity performs several drives to ancient gully
Pasadena CA (JPL) Dec 19, 2016
Opportunity is making progress towards the next science objective of the extended mission. The rover is headed toward an ancient water-carved gully about a kilometer south of the rover's current location on the rim of Endeavour Crater. The recent plans have emphasized driving. On Sol 4577 (Dec. 8, 2016), Opportunity intended a 59-feet (18-meter) drive to the southwest. However, the rover o ... read more

How the Moons That Came Before Collided to Form the Moon

New map of the Moon under creation in China

Solar storms could spark soils at moon's poles

China plans probes to far side, poles of Moon

China launches commercial rocket mission Kuaizhou-1A

China Space Plan to Develop "Strength and Size"

Beijing's space program soars in 2016

China Plans to Launch 1st Mars Probe by 2020 - State Council Information Office

Station crew get special delivery from Virginia

Orbital cargo ship arrives at space station

New Instrument on ISS to Study Ultra-Cold Quantum Gases

Two Russians, one American blast off to ISS

Lowell Observatory to renovate Pluto discovery telescope

How a moon slows the decay of Pluto's atmosphere

Flying observatory makes observations of Jupiter previously only possible from space

York U research identifies icy ridges on Pluto

NASA image showcases Saturn's sun-soaked north pole

Cassini offers a crash course in ring world orbital mechanics

Saturn's bulging core implies moons younger than thought

Cassini Makes First Ring-Grazing Plunge

NASA Study Finds a Connection Between Wildfires and Drought

Astronomers consider how climate change mitigation may impact astronomy

First colour image for joint UK and Algerian CubeSat

Newly proposed reference datasets improve weather satellite data quality

Real time imaging and transcriptome analysis of medaka aboard space station

Russian Astronauts to Hold Terminator Experiment in Space

Two US astronauts complete spacewalk to upgrade ISS

The hidden artist of the Soviet space programme

VLT to Search for Planets in Alpha Centauri System

Could dark streaks in Venusian clouds be microbial life

Hubble detects 'exocomets' taking the plunge into a young star

Between a rock and a hard place: can garnet planets be habitable

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

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2017 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news 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. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement