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Opportunity Studies Chocolate Hills Rock

File image: Concepcion.
by Staff Writers
Pasadena CA (JPL) Feb 12, 2010
Opportunity is exploring around the rim of the very young crater "Concepcion." On Sol 2145 (Feb. 4, 2010), the rover made a 10-meter (33-foot) approach to a rock target called "Chocolate Hills."

This rock target is of interest because it exhibits a dark rind or crust that may be impact melt. On Sol 2147 (Feb. 6, 2010), Opportunity completed a 2-meter (7-foot) short approach to bring the target within the work volume of the robotic arm (IDD).

On Sol 2149 (Feb. 8, 2010), the rover performed a small turn-in-place to position the target within reach of the IDD with its 4-degree-of-freedom azimuth limitations. On the next sol, the IDD collected a Microscopic Imager (MI) mosaic of the dark rind and then placed the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) for an integration.

On the following sol, another set of Microscopic Imager mosaics were collected and then the Moessbauer (MB) spectrometer focused on the target called "Aloya."

The right-front wheel currents continue to be well-behaved. No improvement has been observed yet in the miniature thermal emission spectrometer (Mini-TES) elevation mirror, which continues to be opened regularly to allow cleaning by the wind.

As of Sol 2151 (Feb. 10, 2010), the solar array energy production was 306 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (tau) of 0.388 and a dust factor of 0.487. Total odometry is 19,335.35 meters (12 miles).

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Spirit Ready For Another Cold Martian Winter
Pasadena CA (JPL) Feb 12, 2010
Spirit is now parked for the winter in the embedded area called "Troy" on the west side of Home Plate. The last winter-preparatory movement of the rover was commanded on Sol 2169 (Feb. 8, 2010). The rover was commanded to flatten the suspension system on the right side and accentuate the suspension wheelie on the left side, all to enhance northerly tilt. Very little change in tilt was achi ... read more

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