by Staff Writers
Pasadena CA (JPL) Jun 09, 2015
Opportunity is on the west rim of Endeavour Crater at the 'Spirit of St. Louis' crater near the entrance of 'Marathon Valley.' The rover is now configured for Solar Conjunction with all sequences onboard for the next three weeks.
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. More on solar conjunction here.
The last drive was on Sol 4031 (May 27, 2015). The rover moved 19 meters to approach a surface target that will be the subject of investigation during solar conjunction. On Sol 4034 (May 30, 2015), the robotic arm was used to collect a Microscopic Imager (MI) mosaic of the surface target. Then, the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) was placed for a multiple hour integration.
The next robotic arm activity will actually occur during Solar Conjunction on Sol 4047 (June 12, 2015). On that sol, Opportunity will perform a small, less than an inch (1 cm) offset of the APXS placement and perform another long integration. As of the entry into the Solar Conjunction communication moratorium, Opportunity was in good health operating in persistent RAM-mode to avoid the use of Flash memory.
As of Sol 4037 (June 2, 2015), the solar array energy production was 500 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.952 and a solar array dust factor of 0.688.
Total odometry is 26.33 miles (42.37 kilometers), more than a marathon.
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