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Opportunity seeks energy-favorable locations to recharge during winter
by Staff Writers
Pasadena CA (JPL) Sep 01, 2017

Front Hazcam image taken on Sol 4831 - false color.

Opportunity is exploring "Perseverance Valley" on the west rim of Endeavour crater as mission planners prepare to park the rover for a winter layover.

Winter substainally constrains the energy levels of the rover, such that the program has been exercising the strategy of driving the rover from one energy-favorable "lily pad" to the next.

These lily pads are locations where the terrain is tilted sufficiently to the north to maximize the Sun illumination on the rover's solar panels.

Even this is not enough and the rover has to spend some days recharging. During these "recharge" sols the rover sleeps throughout the day waking only for the morning Deep Space Network X-band session and the afternoon Ultra High Frequency relay pass.

Opportunity drove on Sol 4831 (Aug. 26, 2017), heading for an energy lily pad. While driving, the rover collected some mid-drive Panoramic Camera (Pancam) and Navigation Camera (Navcam) imaging.

At the end of the drive, after traveling just over 82 feet (25 meters), the rover collected some more imagery. Unfortunately, due to side slip, the rover missed the lily pad by a few meters. After a couple of days of recharging, Opportunity drove a short distance of just over 13 feet (4 meters) to get onto that lily pad.

The plan ahead is to collect more imagery from this location of the morphology (the shape) of Perseverance Valley, recharge some, and move on to the next lily pad.

As of Sol 4834 (Aug. 29, 2017), the solar array energy production was 279 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.608 and a solar array dust factor of 0.507.

Total odometry is 27.97 miles (45.02 kilometers).

Opportunity will spend three weeks at current location due to Solar Conjunction
Pasadena CA (JPL) Jul 14, 2017
Opportunity is in "Perseverance Valley" on the west rim of Endeavour Crater. The rover has arrived at the location within the valley where she will spend the approximately three-week solar conjunction period. 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. ... read more

Related Links
Opportunity Archive at JPL
Mars News and Information at
Lunar Dreams and more

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