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Opportunity Breaks Backward Driving Record
by Staff Writers
Pasadena CA (JPL) Jun 15, 2011

Opportunity's Traverse Map Through Sol 2624. Image Credit: NASA/JPL/Cornell/University of Arizona. Full size image

Opportunity completed a drive-by imaging campaign of another small, but young crater, named "Gemini 5."

On Sol 2616 (June 3, 2011), Opportunity set a new one-sol backwards driving distance record with a drive exceeding 165 meters (541 feet).

The forward driving record is still 220 meters (721 feet), set on Sol 410 (March 20, 2005). The drive took the rover toward the crater.

The plan was to conduct the drive-by of the crater on Sol 2620 (June 7, 2011), but a Deep Space Network problem prevented the uplink of the drive plan from occurring.

The drive was re-planned for Sol 2621 (June 8, 2011), and completed successfully with a drive of 86 meters (282 feet) around the northern edge of Gemini 5 with mid-drive imaging.

The plan ahead is to resume the trek toward the rim of Endeavour crater, just over 3 kilometers (nearly 2 miles) away.

As of Sol 2621 (June 8, 2011), solar array energy production was 420 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.747 and a solar array dust factor of 0.562.

Total odometry is 30,307.17 meters (30.31 kilometers, or 18.83 miles).

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Opportunity Heads Toward 'Spirit Point'
Pasadena CA (JPL) Jun 10, 2011
When NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity reaches the rim of a large crater it is approaching, its arrival will come with an inspiring reminder. This crater, Endeavour, became the rover's long-term destination nearly three years ago. Opportunity has driven about 11 miles (18 kilometers) since climbing out of Victoria crater in August 2008, with Endeavour crater beckoning to the southe ... read more

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