by Staff Writers
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.
After some final steering diagnostic testing, Opportunity drove on Sol 4774 (June 29, 2017), about 39 feet (12 meters) to the north. Over the next few sols, the rover was engaged in a Panoramic Camera (Pancam) panorama survey of the surroundings.
On Sol 4779 (July 3, 2017), Opportunity made almost 101 feet (31 meters) to the northeast, heading towards the location with favorable energy tilt for the conjunction period.
The rover drove again on Sols 4781 and 4782 (July 6 and July 7, 2017) towards the east, achieving 44 feet (13.4 meters) and 45 feet (13.8 meters), respectively.
The rover dedicated Sol 4783 (July 8, 2017), for recharging to prepare for the next sol. Then on Sol 4784 (July 9, 2017), Opportunity awoke late in the evening to use a MAVEN relay pass.
With the late wake-up, the rover used the time to images the stars and to collect an atmospheric argon measurement with the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS).
As of Sol 4786 (July 11, 2017), the solar array energy production was 352 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.748 and a solar array dust factor of 0.549.
Total odometry is 27.95 miles (44.97 kilometers).
More on solar conjunction here
Pasadena CA (JPL) Jul 03, 2017
Opportunity is at the top of "Perseverance Valley" on the rim of Endeavour Crater. The rover is completing the remaining science as part of a walkabout campaign above Perseverance Valley before the solar conjunction moratorium in July. Although there are new considerations regarding steering (no use of the front steering actuators), Opportunity is continuing to drive. Solar conjunction is ... read more
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