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MARSDAILY
Winds Blow Dust off the Solar Panels Improving Energy Levels
by Staff Writers
Pasadena CA (JPL) Nov 20, 2017


File image of a panel dust off comparison. The only reason Opportunity still works is due to random but regular dust offs that enable the panels to produce enough power for MER-B to continue functioning after 13 years of operations.

Opportunity is continuing her winter exploration of Perseverance Valley on the west rim of the Noachian-aged Endeavour Crater.

Although the depth of the winter solstice is still a week or more away, energy levels have improved for Opportunity. One contributor is the improvement in solar array dust factor as winds blow some of the dust off the arrays. That said, the rover did spend one sol, Sol 4906 (Nov. 11, 2017), as a recharge sol.

On Sol 4903 (Nov. 8, 2017), Opportunity continued a multi-sol integration of the surface target, called "Mesilla" using the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS). The rover also continued to collect the extensive Panoramic Camera (Pancam) panoramas as part of the comprehensive digital survey of the valley.

On Sol 4907 (Nov. 12, 2017), the rover drove 30 feet (9 meters) to the northeast set up for another surface target investigation and more imaging.

As of Sol 4909 (Nov. 14, 2017), the solar array energy production was 393 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.410 and an improved solar array dust factor of 0.619.

Total odometry is 27.99 miles (45.05 kilometers).

MARSDAILY
Opportunity Does a Wheelie and is Back on Solid Footing
Pasadena CA (JPL) Nov 06, 2017
Opportunity is continuing her winter exploration of "Perseverance Valley" on the west rim of the Noachian-aged Endeavour Crater. The rover is investigating a site where there is evidence of scouring, by wind or otherwise. On Sol 4890 (Oct. 26, 2017), Opportunity bumped uphill about 13 feet (4 meters) to reach some targets of interest to the science team. Because of the steep terrain, ... read more

Related Links
Opportunity Archive
Mars News and Information at MarsDaily.com
Lunar Dreams and more


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