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Opportunity Approaching "Marquette Island"

Marquette Island. Credit: NASA/JPL color by Stu Atkinson
by Staff Writers
Pasadena CA (SPX) Nov 17, 2009
Opportunity is still heading south before the turn east to head toward Endeavour Crater. The right front wheel is exhibiting elevated motor currents.

So, the plan is to find a place to stop and rest the actuator while conducting some some contact science.

On Sol 2058 (Nov. 7, 2009), the rover began a 15-meter (49-foot) approach to a candidate rock target called "Marquette Island." On Sol 2061 (Nov. 10, 2009), Opportunity bumped about 4 meters (13 feet) to position Marquette Island within the work volume of the rover's robotic arm (instrument deployment device, or IDD).

The rover continues to command the miniature thermal emission spectrometer (Mini-TES) elevation mirror open each sol in an attempt to clear some of the putative dust off the elevation mirror.

To date, no improvement in the Mini-TES has been observed.

As of Sol 2062 (Nov. 11, 2009), Opportunity's solar-array energy production was 400 watt-hours, with an atmospheric opacity (tau) of 0.486 and a dust factor of 0.531. Total odometry was 18,905.90 meters (11.75 miles).

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NASA to begin attempts to free Spirit
Pasadena CA (UPI) Nov 12, 2009
NASA scientists say they plan to begin transmitting commands to the Mars exploration rover Spirit in an attempt to free the robot from martian sand. Spirit has been stuck in martian sand since April 23. Researchers expect the extraction process -- to begin Monday -- to be long and the outcome uncertain. "This is going to be a lengthy process, and there's a high probability attemp ... read more

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