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. Opportunity Passes 800 Sols On Mars

Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell
by Staff Writers
Pasadena CA (SPX) May 1, 2006
Opportunity has passed 800 sols, or Martian days, of operations on the red planet, meaning the golf-cart-sized rover has functioned continuously nearly nine times longer than its initial mission design.

NASA controllers report that Opportunity remains in good working order and continues to roll toward a formation called Victoria Crater, with just under 1,400 meters (.86 mile) to go.

Controllers spent several days last week setting up for some robotic arm work over the weekend, with plans to continue the drive to Victoria this week.

Sol-by-sol summaries: Sol 796 (April 20): Opportunity ended a drive after 2 meters (about 7 feet). Imaging taken before and after the drive was completed.

Sol 797: The rover conducted untargeted remote science, including panoramic camera and miniature thermal emission spectrometer ground surveys and atmospheric measurements.

Sol 798: The rover completed targeted remote science, including panoramic camera images of rock and formation targets controllers have named Junction City, Chetopa, Coffeyville and Salina, and miniature thermal emission spectrometer stares of Junction City and Salina.

Sol 799: Opportunity traveled approximately 44 meters (144 feet).

Sol 800 (April 24): Opportunity drove 33.5 meters (110 feet), crossing a few small ripples and driving over an outcrop.

Sol 801: After taking a pre-drive image, Opportunity drove 28.3 meters (93 feet), down a couple of troughs and over a couple of ripples. Slip checks were used to prevent excessive driving in potentially slippery areas.

Sol 802: This sol's 13.8 meter (45 feet) drive was designed to move Opportunity closer to an outcrop the mission team wanted to analyze with the robotic arm.

Sol 803: The outcrop turned out to be fragmented, and therefore not a desirable target. So, controllers designed a short 8-meter (26 feet) drive to a better target.

As of Sol 802, Opportunity's odometry totaled 7,456.56 meters, or 4.63 miles.

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NASA Testing Prototype Software For Future Spaceflight
Moffett Field CA (SPX) Apr 28, 2006
Software that astronauts could use during spaceflight and in future moon habitats is being tested by NASA in a Utah desert April 23 to May 7, 2006. The research is taking place in Utah's southeast desert, at the Mars Society's Mars Desert Research Station near Hanksville, where scientists are field-testing a computer network to monitor space power systems.

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