by Staff Writers
Pasadena CA (JPL) Jul 09, 2012
Opportunity has now exceeded 3,000 sols, or Martian days, of operation on the surface of Mars! The rover is still exploring the north end of Cape York on the rim of Endeavour Crater.
On Sol 2997 (June 29, 2012), Opportunity completed an Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) on the previously brushed target, called "Grasberg."
On Sol 2998 (June 30, 2012), a 13-filter Panoramic Camera (Pancam) image was taken of the target, followed by a Rock Abrasion Tool (RAT) seek/scan and grind.
The plan was to grind Grasberg to a depth of 1.5 mm, followed by a documentary Microscopic Imager (MI) mosaic. On Sol 2999 (July 1, 2012), the rover performed an atmospheric argon measurement with the APXS.
On Sol 3000 (July 2, 2012), the rover collected only remote sensing science. On Sol 3001 (July 3, 2012), the RAT was used to brush the RAT grind tailings from the target Grasberg followed by more MI imaging and the placement of the APXS for a long integration.
Opportunity continues to benefit from solar array dust cleaning events, which increase the daily energy production.
As of Sol 3001 (July 3, 2012), solar array energy production was 577 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.346 and an improved solar array dust factor of 0.705.
Total odometry is 21.43 miles (34,491.99 meters).
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Life's molecules could lie within reach of Mars Curiosity rover
Washington DC (SPX) Jul 06, 2012
Stick a shovel in the ground and scoop. That's about how deep scientists need to go in order to find evidence for ancient life on Mars, if there is any to be found, a new study suggests. That's within reach of Curiosity, the Mars Science Laboratory rover expected to land on the Red Planet next month. The new findings, which suggest optimal depths and locations to probe for organic molecule ... read more
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