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Pasadena CA (JPL) Apr 15, 2013
Solar conjunction is when the Sun comes between Earth and Mars, which occurs about once every 26 months. During this time there will be diminished communications to Opportunity.
The team will suspend sending the rover new commands between April 9 and April 26. The rover will continue science activities using a long-term set of commands to be sent beforehand. No new images are expected to be returned during this time.
On Sol 3267 (April 2, 2013), the rover performed the last robotic arm movement prior to the solar conjunction quiet period, using the Microscopic Imager (MI) to collect additional portions of a large mosaic of the target 'Esperance,' followed by the placement of the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) down on the surface target 'Esperance3,' for the remainder of solar conjunction.
As of Sol 3274 (April 9, 2013), the solar array energy production was 557 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.677 and a solar array dust factor of 0.617.
Total odometry is 22.15 miles (35.65 kilometers).
See solar conjunction video here.
Mars Science Laboratory
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