by Staff Writers
Pasadena CA (JPL) Dec 19, 2011
Opportunity is positioned at one of the candidate sites for winter, on the north end of "Cape York" on the rim of Endeavour Crater. There are two candidate sites for winter havens that indicate sufficient northerly tilt. Opportunity is at one of those spots.
The rover is tilted about 16 degrees to the north for favorable solar energy production.
Opportunity is continuing the in-situ (contact) investigation of the outcrop at this location.
On Sols 2798 (Dec. 7, 2011), and 2800 (Dec. 9, 2011), Opportunity conducted a set of investigations using the instruments on the end of the robotic arm on the surface target called "Boesmankop."
Each involved collecting Microscopic Imager (MI) mosaics followed by an overnight placement of the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS).
On Sol 2801 (Dec. 10, 2011), the Rock Abrasion Tool (RAT) was used to brush the surface target and collect another MI mosaic.
The rover also took a panoramic camera (Pancam) image, followed by the placement of the APXS for an overnight integration.
Wanting to investigate a rock clast on the outcrop, the rover performed a small 9-degree counter-clockwise turn on Sol 2803 (Dec. 12, 2011).
This positions that rock clast within reach of Opportunity's robotic arm. The plan ahead is an in-situ investigation of the rock clast with the instruments on the end of the robotic arm.
As of Sol 2804 (Dec. 13, 2011), solar array energy production was 302 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.714 and a solar array dust factor of 0.486.
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Opportunity to Stop and Study Rocks
Pasadena CA (JPL) Dec 12, 2011
Opportunity is currently exploring one of the candidate sites for winter, on the north end of "Cape York" on the rim of Endeavour Crater. On Sol 2792 (Dec. 1, 2011), the rover bumped backwards about 9 feet (2.7 meters) to better view a rock outcrop and to increase the rover tilt toward the Sun. The northerly tilt, favorable for energy production, increased from 6 degrees to 9 degrees. ... read more
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