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sols 5183 to 5189, Aug. 23, 2018 - Aug. 29, 2018: Team Continues to Listen for Opportunity

No signal from Opportunity has been heard since Sol 5111 (June 10, 2018). The dust storm on Mars continues its decay with atmospheric opacity (tau) over the rover site decreasing.

It is expected that Opportunity has experienced a low-power fault and perhaps, a mission clock fault and then, an up-loss timer fault. The project is continuing to listen for the rover either during the expected fault communication windows, or listening over a broader range of times using the Deep Space Network Radio Science Receiver.

The project is also sending a command three times a week to elicit a beep if the rover happens to be awake.

Total odometry is unchanged at 28.06 miles (45.16 kilometers).



sols 5176 to 5182, Aug. 15, 2018 - Aug. 22, 2018: No Word From Opportunity Yet As Skies Begin To Clear

No signal from Opportunity has been heard. The dust storm on Mars continues to decay.

There has been no new storm activity within ~1,864 miles (3,000 kilometers) of the rover site. The atmospheric opacity (tau) over the rover is decreasing. As reported previously, it is expected that Opportunity has experienced a low-power fault, and then perhaps, a mission clock fault.

Subsequent to the last contact with the rover on Sol 5111 (June 10, 2018), the up-loss timer has expired, adding another fault condition. The science team is continuing to listen for the rover either during the expected fault communication windows, or listening over a broader range of times using the Deep Space Network Radio Science Receiver.

The science team is also sending a command three times a week to elicit a beep if the rover happens to be awake.

Total odometry is unchanged at 28.06 miles (45.16 kilometers).



sols 5168 to 5175, Aug. 7, 2018 - Aug. 14, 2018: The Science Team Continues to Listen for Opportunity as Storm Diminishes

The planet-encircling dust storm on Mars continues to decay, although in fits and starts. Atmospheric opacity (tau) over the rover site was estimated down near 2.1, but then popped up to 2.5.

It is expected that Opportunity has experienced a low-power fault, and perhaps even a mission clock fault. Additionally, the up-loss timer has also since expired, adding another fault condition.

The science team is continuing to listen for the rover either during the expected fault communication windows, or listening over a broader range of times using the Deep Space Network Radio Science Receiver. The science team is also sending a command three times a week to elicit a beep if the rover happens to be awake.

The science team does not expect to hear anything from Opportunity until the atmospheric opacity over the rover site clears further.

Total odometry is 28.06 miles (45.16 kilometers).



sols 5162 to 5167, Aug. 1, 2018 - Aug. 6, 2018: The Planet-Encircling Dust Storm Shows Signs of Slowing

The planet-encircling dust storm on Mars continues to show indications of decay.

Dust-lifting sites have decreased and surface features are starting to emerge. There are indications that the atmospheric opacity might be decreasing over the Opportunity site. Since the last contact with the rover on Sol 5111 (June 10, 2018), Opportunity has likely experienced a low-power fault and perhaps, a mission-clock fault. Additionally, the up-loss timer has also since expired, resulting in another fault condition.

The science team is continuing to listen every day for the rover, either during the expected fault communication windows, or listening over a broader range of times using the Deep Space Network Radio Science Receiver. The science team is also sending a command three times a week, to elicit a beep if the rover happens to be awake.

The science team does not expect to hear anything from Opportunity until there has been a significant reduction in the atmospheric opacity over the rover site.

Total odometry is 28.06 miles (45.16 kilometers).



sols 5155 to 5161, July 25, 2018 - July 31, 2018: Still No Change in Opportunity's Status

There is no news since the last status update.

As reported last week, the planet-encircling dust storm on Mars is showing indications of peaking and perhaps decaying. Dust lifting sites have decreased in extent and some surface features are starting to become visible. The storm has sustained high atmospheric opacity conditions over the Opportunity site, although there are some preliminary indications that the opacity might be decreasing there. Since the last contact with the rover on Sol 5111 (June 10, 2018), Opportunity has likely experienced a low-power fault and perhaps, a mission clock fault and now an up-loss fault.

The science team is continuing to listen every day for the rover either during the expected fault communication windows or listening over a broader range of times using the Deep Space Network Radio Science Receiver. For the near term, the project will continue to send a command three times a week to elicit a beep if the rover happens to be awake.

The science team does not expect to hear anything from Opportunity until there has been a significant reduction in the atmospheric opacity over the rover site.

Total odometry is 28.06 miles (45.16 kilometers).



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Sols 5149 to 5154, July 19, 2018 - July 25, 2018: Dust Storm May Have Peaked

The planet-encircling dust storm on Mars is showing indications of peaking and perhaps decaying.

Dust lifting sites have decreased in extent and some surface features are starting to become visible. The storm has sustained high atmospheric opacity conditions over the Opportunity site, although there are some preliminary indications that the opacity might be decreasing there. Since the last contact with the rover on Sol 5111 (June 10, 2018), Opportunity has likely experienced a low-power fault and perhaps, a mission clock fault and now an up-loss fault.

The science team is continuing to listen every day for the rover either during the expected fault communication windows or listening over a broader range of times using the Deep Space Network Radio Science Receiver. For the near term, the science team will continue to send a command three times a week to elicit a beep if the rover happens to be awake.

It is not expected to hear anything from Opportunity until there has been a significant reduction in the atmospheric opacity over the rover site.

Total odometry is 28.06 miles (45.16 kilometers).



sols 5142 to 5148, July 11, 2018 - July 18, 2018: Opportunity Continues in a Deep Sleep Beneath Raging Dust Storm

The dust storm on Mars is continuing as a Planet-encircling Dust Event (PEDE).

The storm has sustained high atmospheric opacity conditions over the Opportunity site for several weeks. The last contact with the rover was on Sol 5111 (June 10, 2018). Since then, it is likely that Opportunity has experienced a low-power fault, putting herself to sleep only to wake when the skies eventually clear. If the atmospheric opacity or the solar array dust factor has gotten even worse since the last contact, Opportunity could also experience a mission clock fault.

The science team is listening every day for the rover either during the expected fault communication windows or listening over a broader range of times using the Deep Space Network Radio Science Receiver on both left- and right-hand circular polarizations. For the near term, the science team will continue to send a command, three times a week, to elicit a beep if the rover happens to be awake.

The team does not expect to hear anything from Opportunity until there has been a significant reduction in the atmospheric opacity over the rover site.

Total odometry is 28.06 miles (45.16 kilometers).



sols 5128 to 5141, June 27, 2018 - July 10, 2018: Opportunity's Science Team Remains Vigilant

The dust storm on Mars is continuing as a Planet-encircling Dust Event (PEDE) with no indication of receding at this time.

The storm has sustained high atmospheric opacity conditions over the Opportunity site for several weeks without any change. There is no indication at this time of the storm abating or clearing. Since the last contact with the rover on Sol 5111 (June 10, 2018), it is likely that Opportunity has experienced a low-power fault, putting herself to sleep only to wake when the skies eventually clear.

If the atmospheric opacity or the solar array dust factor has gotten worse since the last contact, Opportunity could also experience a mission clock fault. Furthermore, the rover uploss timer duration has expired. So, when the rover wakes it will also declare an uploss timer fault. It will be important for the science team to carefully unpack all these fault modes when they proceed with recovery efforts.

For now, the science team is listening every day for the rover during both the time of low-power and uploss fault communication windows and listening over a broader range of times under mission clock fault. The science team is using the services of the Deep Space Network (DSN) Radio Science Receiver (RSR) to listen even when they do not have a schedule track and the RSR is now listening on both left- and right-hand circular polarizations (LCP and RCP) when possible. Continuing for the near term, the science team is also sending a command to elicit a beep if the rover happens to be awake.

The team does not expect to hear anything from Opportunity until there has been a significant reduction in the storm and the associated atmospheric opacity over the rover site. However, they remain vigilant.

Total odometry is 28.06 miles (45.16 kilometers).



sols 5121 to 5127, June 20, 2018 - June 26, 2018: Science Team Listens for Opportunity Everyday While She Sleeps

The dust storm on Mars is continuing as a Planet-encircling Dust Event (PEDE) with no indication of receding at this time.

Again, since the last contact with the rover on Sol 5111 (June 10, 2018), it is likely that Opportunity has experienced a low-power fault, putting herself to sleep only to wake when the skies eventually clear. Also, if the atmospheric opacity or the solar array dust factor has gotten worse since the last contact, Opportunity could also experience a mission clock fault.

The project is listening every day for the rover during both the time of low-power fault communication windows and listening over a broader range of times under mission clock fault. Additionally, for the near term, the project is also sending a command to elicit a beep if the rover happens to be awake.

The team does not expect to hear anything from Opportunity until there has been a significant reduction in the storm and the associated atmospheric opacity over the rover site.

Total odometry is 28.06 miles (45.16 kilometers).



sols 5112 to 5120, June 11, 2018 - June 19, 2018: Opportunity Sleeps During a Planet-Encircling Dust Storm

The dust storm on Mars is now a Planet-encircling Dust Event (PEDE).

It shows no indication of receding at this time. Since the last contact with the rover on Sol 5111 (June 10, 2018), it is likely that Opportunity has experienced a low-power fault, putting herself to sleep only to wake when the skies eventually clear. If the atmospheric opacity or the solar array dust factor has gotten worse since the last telemetry, Opportunity could also experience a mission clock fault.

A clock fault will complicate the recovery, but not prevent it. An analysis of the rover's long-term temperature trends, conservatively assuming no solar array input, indicates that the rover's electronics and batteries will stay above their flight-allowable temperatures. There is a small concern with the health of the batteries if they discharge completely. The batteries might loose some of their capacity if the cell voltages drop to near zero.

The project is listening every day for the rover during both the time of low-power fault communication windows and listening over a broader range of times under mission clock fault. Additionally, for the near term, the project is also sending a command to elicit a beep if the rover happens to be awake. The Deep Space Network (DSN) Radio Science Receiver (RSR) team is using the RSR to listen in on any DSN pass pointed at Mars that corresponds to possible wake up times for the rover.

The plan is to continue this every day while waiting for the skies to clear. The team does not expect to hear anything from Opportunity until there has been a significant reduction in the storm and the associated atmospheric opacity over the rover site.

Total odometry is 28.06 miles (45.16 kilometers).



sols 5108 to 5111, June 7, 2018 - June 10, 2018: Opportunity Waits Out Growing Dust Storm

The dust storm that is affecting Opportunity has greatly intensified.

The atmospheric opacity (tau) over the rover has increased to a record 10.8 on Sol 5111 (June 10, 2018). Power levels on the rover have dropped to a record low of ~22 watt hours. As expected, Opportunity has tripped a low-power fault and gone silent. A 72-hour spacecraft emergency was declared on the afternoon of Sol 5111 (June 10, 2018), anticipating the low-power fault.

The project team is listening each day during the expected fault window time with the Deep Space Network (DSN). No signal has been detected since the last normal communication on Sol 5111 (June 10, 2018). It is expected that we will not hear from the rover until the storm subsides over the rover site.

Total odometry is 28.06 miles (45.16 kilometers).



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sols 5101 to 5107, May 30, 2018 - June 6, 2018: Regional Dust Storm is Affecting Opportunity

Opportunity is halfway down in "Perseverance Valley" on the west rim of Endeavour Crater.

A nearby, regional dust storm is affecting Opportunity. The first indication of a dust storm 621.37 miles (1000 kilometers) away from Opportunity was received on Friday evening, well after the three-sol plan to operate Opportunity through the weekend was developed. Subsequent weather reports from Mars by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) and Mars Color Imager (MARCI) team indicated a persisting storm, but still well away from Opportunity but affecting the atmospheric opacity over the rover site.

In response, on Monday, June 4, 2018 and Tuesday, June 5, 2018 (Sols 5106 and 5107), two low-power plans were developed for Opportunity. Since then the atmosphere over the rover has continued to deteriorate. On Sol 5105 (June 3, 2018; the last sol of the weekend plan), Opportunity's solar arrays generated 468 watt-hours of energy with an atmospheric opacity (tau) of around 1.0.

On Sol 5106 (June 4, 2018), energy was down to 345 watt-hours with a tau of 2.1. Additionally, on Sol 5107 (June 6, 2018), the energy dropped further to 133 watt-hours. We were unable to get a measurement of tau on Sol 5107 (June 6, 2018), but it is estimated to be above 3.0. Opportunity has not seen this level of atmospheric opacity in over a decade.

In Sol 5108 (June 7, 2018) the rover team crafted a minimum-power two-sol plan, where the rover wakes on the first sol only to receive the morning commands then sleeps to the next sol with a brief wake-up in the morning. Subsequently, naps until the afternoon for a quick atmospheric measurement with the Panoramic Camera (Pancam) then a brief communication session with MRO and back to sleep.

The confirming beep on the receipt of the command load was received Thursday morning, but the next time to hear from the rover will be Friday morning. The rover team will likely continue this low-power strategy for Opportunity until conditions improve.

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Total odometry is 28.06 miles (45.16 kilometers).



sols 5094 to 5100, May 23, 2018 - May 29, 2018: Science Team Continues to Improve Opportunity's Use of the Robotic Arm

Opportunity is halfway down in "Perseverance Valley" on the west rim of Endeavour Crater.

The science team is pursuing several hypotheses as to the origin of the valley. The rover is still positioned near some tabular rocks that are the subject of an in-situ (contact) investigation. Over several days (sols), the Panoramic Camera (Pancam) has been employed to collect extensive imagery of various targets with wide, multi-color panoramas and targeted 13-filter images.

On Sol 5094 (May 23, 2018), the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) collected measurements of rock chemistry from the current target set, referred to as "La Joya." On Sol 5097 (May 26, 2018), the Rock Abrasion Tool (RAT) on the end of the robotic arm (IDD) was used to brush the surface target "La Joya 1."

On the next sol, the IDD was to use the Microscopic Imager (MI) to collect a close-in mosaic of the brushed spot. However, the arm movement stopped prematurely because the rover's software thought the rover had moved. The software incorrectly estimated a 360-degree rotation of the rover, a meaningless change from -180 degrees of yaw to 180 degrees of yaw (the same position).

This is a known idiosyncrasy of the software that emerges whenever the rover is oriented with a yaw near 180 degrees (or, equivalently -180 degrees). The rover is otherwise healthy and the plan moving forward is to disable this motion check whenever the rover is near 180 and it is safe to do so.

As of Sol 5100 (May , 2018), the solar array energy production was 652 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.640 and a solar array dust factor of 0.772.

Total odometry is 28.06 miles (45.16 kilometers).



sols 5087 to 5093, May 16, 2018 - May 22, 2018: Ready to Study Rock Targets Up Close

Opportunity is halfway down in "Perseverance Valley" on the west rim of Endeavour Crater, pursuing hypotheses as to the origin of the valley.

The rover is still positioned near some tabular rocks that are the subject of an in-situ (contact) investigation. On Sol 5087 (May 16, 2018), the robotic arm (IDD) performed a "salute" to move it out of the way of the cameras so the Panoramic Camera (Pancam) could take a 13-filter targeted image of the tabular rock target named, "La Joya."

More 13-filter Pancam imagery was collected on the next few days (sols). On Sol 5091 (May 20, 2018), the IDD was used to collect a Microscopic Imager (MI) mosaic of the surface target "La Joya 1" and then place the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) on the same for a multi-hour integration. More targeted 13-filter Pancam imagery was collected on the following day (sol).

On Sol 5093 (May 22, 2018), the arm performed a pre-load test on the surface in preparation for a future Rock Abrasion Tool (RAT) brush and grind. The engineering team wanted to be sure the rover was stabled on the sloped terrain to safely conduct a RAT grind.

The test results showed the rover to be stable and able to perform any future surface contact activities. Also, a MI mosaic was collected of the surface and the APXS was positioned on an offset target, called "La Joya 2."

As of Sol 5093 (May 22, 2018), the solar array energy production was 664 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.562 and a solar array dust factor of 0.769.

Total odometry is 28.06 miles (45.16 kilometers).



sols 5080 to 5086, May 9, 2018 - May 15, 2018: Opportunity Collects Panoramas for Site Awareness and Future Drive Planning

Opportunity is still about halfway down in "Perseverance Valley" on the west rim of Endeavour Crater, pursuing hypotheses as to the origin of the valley.

The rover is positioned next to some tabular rocks that are the subject of an in-situ (contact) investigation. On Sol 5081 (May 10, 2018), using the robotic arm (IDD), Opportunity moved the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) less than half an inch (about 1 centimeter) to collect an offset measurement relative to the previous sampling. While performing contact measurements, the rover is also collecting targeted, multi-spectral images of the rocks using the Panoramic Camera (Pancam).

On Sol 5083 (May 12, 2018), the rover bumped about 6.2 feet (1.9 meters) to new targets. As with all moves, a wide, multi-frame Navigation Camera (Navcam) panorama is collected for site awareness and future drive planning. However, the last drive ended with a very small rock under the right-front wheel.
This raises questions about rover stability when using the robotic arm. Thus, on Sol 5086 (May 15, 2018), the rover was commanded to rotate the right-front wheel backward about 45 degrees of rotation. That kicked out the pebble and now all rover wheels are firmly on the ground for robotic arm use.

As of Sol 5086 (May 15, 2018), the solar array energy production was 659 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.651 and a solar array dust factor of 0.795.

Total odometry is 28.06 miles (45.16 kilometers).



sols 5074 to 5079, May 3, 2018 - May 8, 2018: Opportunity Team Continues Studies on Origin of 'Perseverance Valley'

Opportunity is only halfway down in "Perseverance Valley" on the west rim of Endeavour crater, pursuing several scientific hypotheses as to the origin of the valley including both water and wind erosion.

The next objective is to investigate some tabular rocks up close that are of interest to the science team. On Sol 5074 (May 3, 2018), Opportunity backed up about 6.07 feet (1.85 meters) to set up for an approach to the tabular rock targets. On Sol 5076 (May 5, 2018), the rover moved forward just over 9.8 feet (3 meters) in an approach to those rocks.

At this new location, Opportunity collected both Navigation Camera (Navcam) and Panoramic Camera (Pancam) panoramas to establish the context. An atmospheric argon measurement was performed overnight by the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS).

Sol 5079 (May 8, 2018) began the in-situ (contact) investigation of the tabular rock target called "Inde." The robotic arm (IDD) was used to first collect a Microscopic Imager (MI) mosaic of the target, then the APXS was placed on the same for a multi-hour integration to measure the elemental chemistry.

As of Sol 5079 (May 8, 2018), the solar array energy production was 667 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.619 and a solar array dust factor of 0.776.

Total odometry is 28.06 miles (45.16 kilometers).



sols 5067 to 5073, April 25, 2018 -May 2, 2018: Opportunity Does Contact Science on Rock Targets

Opportunity is continuing the exploration of "Perseverance Valley" on the west rim of Endeavour Crater, pursuing several scientific hypotheses as to the origin of the valley.

Previously, the rover was successful in climbing up to an interesting outcrop of vesicular and tabular rocks. These rocks have been the objective of the science team for several days (sols). Up until now, the investigation has all been with remote sensing. Now the rover gets to conduct in-situ (contact) investigation. On Sol 5069 (April 27, 2018), Opportunity maneuvered about 5.9 feet (1.8 meters), as a close approach to some reachable targets.

However, that drive did not quite reach an accessible rock surface, so, the rover did a five-degree turn in place on Sol 5070 (April 28, 2018). This allowed the robotic arm (IDD) to reach some of the rock surfaces. Then, on Sol 5072 (May 1, 2018), the IDD was used to collect a Microscopic Imager (MI) mosaic consisting of a two-by-two set of image frames each with five stacks of images per frame, plus an offset stereo frame.

In addition, the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) was placed for a multi-hour integration to determine the elemental composition. On Sol 5073 (May 2, 2018), the IDD offset the APXS by less than an inch (1 centimeter) for another multi-hour integration so the science team can analyze the spatial trends on various elements. With the rover right up to these rocks, the Panoramic Camera (Pancam) is collecting close-up, color stereo images to fill out the investigation.

As of Sol 5073 (May 2, 2018), the solar array energy production was 642 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.641 and a solar array dust factor of 0.787.

Total odometry is 28.06 miles (45.15 kilometers).



sols 5060 to 5066, April 18, 2018 - April 24, 2018: Finding New Ways to Approach Science Targets

Opportunity is continuing the exploration of "Perseverance Valley" on the west rim of Endeavour Crater, pursuing several scientific hypotheses as to the origin of the valley.

The rover is still positioned about halfway down the approximately 656-feet (200-meter) valley. Opportunity has been driving to position herself to explore some tabular and vesicular rocks that are upslope. On Sol 5060 (April 18, 2018), the rover backed downslope just over 3.3 feet (1 meter) to examine the terrain that was difficult to climb. Since it was difficult to make progress upslope from that position, the plan is for Opportunity to drive around and approach these interesting rocks from above.

On Sol 5063 (April 21, 2018), the rover moved cross-slope to set up for a drive directly upslope, but over a location the rover previously drove down, so the terrain is better characterized. On Sol 5065 (April 23, 2018), Opportunity made a 36.9-feet (11-meter) drive almost directly upslope arriving at the intended waypoint with acceptable slip during the drive.

On the next sol, the rover bumped just over 6.6 feet (2 meters) to approach the science targets. In addition to much targeted Panoramic Camera (Pancam) color imagery, post-drive Navigation Camera (Navcam) panoramas were collected after each drive and on Sols 5060 (April 18, 2018) and 5066 (April 24, 2018), atmospheric argon measurements were made with the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS).

As of Sol 5066 (April 24, 2018), the solar array energy production was 727 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.569 and a solar array dust factor of 0.823.

Total odometry is 28.06 miles (45.15 kilometers).



sols 5053 to 5059, April 11, 2018 - April 17, 2018: Looking for a Path of Less Resistance

Opportunity is continuing the exploration of "Perseverance Valley" on the west rim of Endeavour Crater, pursuing several scientific hypotheses as to the origin of the valley.

The rover is positioned about halfway down the approximately 656 feet (200-meter) valley near an apparent flow stream island. Opportunity is finishing up some in-situ (contact) investigations of local outcrops. However, tabular rocks a few feet upslope have become of great interest to the science team. On Sol 5053 (April 11, 2018), the rover completed the investigation of the target called, "Nazas" with a Microscopic Imager (MI) mosaic, followed by the placement of the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) for a multi-hour integration.

The next three sols, Opportunity performed targeted remote sensing with all 13 filters of the Panoramic Camera (Pancam) multispectral camera. With activities complete, the rover moved on Sol 5057 (April 15, 2018), backing up and turning just about 14.8 feet (4.5 meters) to set up the approach upslope to the tabular rocks. The usual post-drive Navigation Camera (Navcam) panoramas were collected along with some targeted 13-filter Pancam images.

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On the next sol, Opportunity tried to go upslope to the tabular rocks. However, the terrain was difficult and the rover experienced high slip. Just under 9.8 feet (3 meters) of motion was achieved. More post-drive documentary imagery was collected. The assessment is that a different, less difficult route to the tabular rocks must be taken.

So, in future sols a more roundabout path to the rocks will be planned over multiple sols. Sol 5059 (April 17, 2018) was to be a remote sensing sol, but the Deep Space Network station's transmitter was flagged red (not operational) and our Sol 5059 (April 17, 2018) plan was never received. Opportunity instead exercised the onboard run-out sol. Nominal planning will resume with Sol 5060 (April 18, 2018).

As of Sol 5058 (April 16, 2018), the solar array energy production was 726 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.558 and an improved solar array dust factor of 0.826.

Total odometry is 28.05 miles (45.14 kilometers).



sols 5046 to 5052, April 4, 2018 - April 10, 2018: The Rock Outcrop 'Tome' Continues to Garner Interest

Opportunity is continuing the exploration of "Perseverance Valley" on the west rim of Endeavour Crater.

The rover is positioned about halfway down the approximately 656 feet (200-meter) valley near an apparent flow stream island. A set of outcrops is garnering great interest and discussion among the science team. The rover is position on a surface target called "Tome." The Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) is collecting elemental information about the target.

Meanwhile, the Panoramic Camera (Pancam) is being used to collect extensive targeted and panoramic images of surrounding targets. On Sol 5046 (April 4, 2018) the APXS continued to integrate, while a Pancam panorama was taken. On the next sol, the robotic arm was used to offset the APXS on the target for further elemental analysis.

On Sol 5049 (April 7, 2018), in order to better reach nearby targets, a small 2-degree turn-in-place was performed by the rover. More targeted and panoramic imagery was collected by the Pancam over the next several sols. An atmospheric argon measurement was performed by the APXS on Sol 5050 (April 8, 2018).

As of Sol 5052 (April 10, 2018), the solar array energy production was 694 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.525 and an improved solar array dust factor of 0.818.

Total odometry is 28.04 miles (45.13 kilometers).



sols 5039 to 5045, March 28, 2018 - April 3, 2018: Opportunity Focuses on New Target, 'Tome'

Opportunity is continuing the exploration of "Perseverance Valley" on the west rim of Endeavour Crater.

The rover is positioned about halfway down the approximately 656 feet (200-meter) valley. On Sol 5040 (March 29, 2018), the rover finished up a multi-drive bump toward a new target of vesicular rock. Upon arrival, the team discovered that the rover had slipped below the intended target, which would now have required a large turn in place to reach.

This being difficult with the current wheel steering situation and because the intended target does not look ideal for being inspected by the Rock Abrasion Tool (RAT), the team decided to go after a target of opportunity that was in the robotic arm (IDD) work volume at the end of the Sol 5040 (March 29, 2018) drive.

Robotic arm work commenced on Sol 5045 (April 3, 2018) and included an Microscopic Imager (MI) mosaic and Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) placement and integration on target "Tome." The rover also collected Navigation Camera (Navcam) and Panoramic Camera (Pancam) images throughout and performed an overnight APXS integration on Sol 5043 (April 1, 2018). Opportunity covered 14.63 feet (4.46 meters) in one drive during this period.

As of Sol 5045 (April 3, 2018), the solar array energy production was 681 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.653 and a solar array dust factor of 0.836.

Total odometry is 28.04 miles (45.13 kilometers).



sols 5033 to 5038, March 19, 2018 - March 27, 2018: Opportunity Completes In-Situ Work on 'Aguas Calientes'

Opportunity is continuing the exploration of "Perseverance Valley" on the west rim of Endeavour Crater.

The rover is positioned about halfway down the approximately 656 feet (200-meter) valley. Opportunity is investigating the surface target called, "Aguas Calientes," an exposed rock outcrop. Although the target had been ground already, the science team wanted to grind "Aguas Calientes" another 2 millimeters deeper.

On Sol 5032 (March 20, 2018), the Rock Abrasion Tool (RAT) was placed back into the ground hole and ground further. During the grind the Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) reported a questionable flag. However, the IMU was tested again on Sol 5035 (March 24, 2018) and was found to be healthy. After the deeper grind, the Microscopic Imager (MI) collected a mosaic of the grind and then the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) was placed for a multi-sol integration.

The rover also collected a set of 13-filter Panoramic Camera (Pancam) images of selected targets. On Sol 5035 (March 24, 2018), the robotic arm offset the APXS for further integrations, along with the IMU test, and imaged the RAT bit for wear. No additional bit wear was seen after the grind. By Sol 5038 (March 27, 2018), the in-situ (contact) work on "Aguas Calientes" was finished and the rover bumped away about 7.5 feet (2.3 meters).

As of Sol 5038 (March 27, 2018), the solar array energy production was 670 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.524 and an improved solar array dust factor of 0.830.

Total odometry is 28.04 miles (45.12 kilometers).



sols 5026 to 5032, March 14, 2018 - March 20, 2018: Extensive Study of Rock Target 'Aguas Calientes'

Opportunity is continuing the exploration of "Perseverance Valley" on the west rim of Endeavour Crater.

The rover is positioned about half way down the approximately 656 feet (200-meter) valley.

Opportunity is engaged in an extensive in-situ (contact) science campaign on the surface target called "Aguas Calientes," an exposed rock outcrop. After previously brushing the surface, on Sol 5026 (March 14, 2018), the rover used the robotic arm (IDD) to collect a Microscopic Imager (MI) mosaic of the freshly brushed target and then placed the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) on the target for a multi-hour integration. A Navigation Camera (Navcam) panorama was also collected. Then, on Sol 5027 (March 15, 2018), the Rock Abrasion Tool (RAT) was used to grind into the target approximately 2 millimeters. This was followed by brushing to remove the grind tailings. On Sol 5028 (March 16, 2018), another MI mosaic was collected of the ground target and the APXS was placed for another multi-hour integration. Over the next three sols, both Panoramic Camera (Pancam) and Navcam imagery were collected while the APXS integrated on the ground surface target.

On Sol 5032 (March 20, 2018), "Aguas Calientes" was ground even deeper by the RAT, penetrating another 2 millimeters into the rock outcrop. Again, the target was brushed clean after the grind. The plan ahead is more imaging of the deeper grind and another APXS placement into the deeper hole.
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As of Sol 5032 (March 20, 2018), the solar array energy production was 664 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.520 and an improved solar array dust factor of 0.842.

Total odometry is 28.04 miles (45.12 kilometers).



sols 5019 to 5025, March 7, 2018 - March 13, 2018: Opportunity Brushes a New Rock Target

Opportunity is continuing the exploration of "Perseverance Valley" on the west rim of Endeavour Crater.

The rover is positioned about halfway down the approximately 656 feet (200 meter) valley. Opportunity is continuing the imaging survey at each rover location within the valley. In addition to both Navigation Camera (Navcam) and Panoramic Camera (Pancam) panoramas, targeted Pancam multi-spectral images are also being collected.

Sols 5020 and 5021 (March 8 and 9, 2018) saw Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) integrations on the target "Guanajuato" and there was an APXS Argon on Sol 5022 (March 10, 2018). On Sol 5023 (March 11, 2018) we drove away to our next target where we did a Rock Abrasion Tool (RAT) brush on Sol 5025 (March 13, 2018) in anticipation of a grind on target "Aguas Calientes." A Microscopic Imager (MI) mosaic was also taken.

As of Sol 5025 (March 13, 2018), the solar array energy production was 679 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.474 and a solar array dust factor of 0.861.

Total odometry is 28.04 miles (45.12 kilometers).



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sols 5012 to 5018, Feb. 28, 2018 - March 6, 2018: Opportunity is Halfway Down the Valley

Opportunity is continuing the exploration of "Perseverance Valley" on the west rim of Endeavour Crater.

The rover is positioned about halfway down the approximately 656 feet (200 meter) valley. Opportunity is continuing the imaging survey at each rover location within the valley. In addition to both Navigation Camera (Navcam) and Panoramic Camera (Pancam) panoramas, targeted Pancam multi-spectral images are also being collected.

On Sol 5012 (Feb. 28, 2018), the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) was used to measure the atmospheric argon. After two sols of targeted imaging, the rover bumped just over 13 feet (4 meters) to the edge of a commonly regarded streamline island within the valley. This was followed with two sols of Navcam imagery to form a 360-degree panorama and some more targeted Pancam images.

On Sol 5018 (March 6, 2018), the robotic arm (also called the Instrument Deployment Device, or IDD) was used to collect a Microscopic Imager (MI) mosaic of a surface target of interest. The APXS was then placed for a multi-hour integration on the same.

As of Sol 5018 (March 6, 2018), the solar array energy production was 682 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.507 and an improved solar array dust factor of 0.873.

Total odometry is 28.04 miles (45.12 kilometers).



sols 5005 to 5011, Feb. 21, 2018 - Feb. 27, 2018: Rover Collects More 'Selfie' Frames

Opportunity is continuing the exploration of "Perseverance Valley" on the west rim of Endeavour Crater.

The rover is positioned about half way down the approximately 656 feet (200 meter) valley. The rover started the week well, but things grew to be challenging. On Sol 5005 (Feb. 21, 2018), Opportunity collected a Panoramic Camera (Pancam) color stereo panorama. Using the robotic arm (also called the Instrument Deployment Device, or IDD) on the next sol, the rover collected a few more "selfie" frames with the Microscopic Imager (MI) to fill out the "selfie" that was collected on Sol 5000 (Feb. 16, 2018).

The next sol's plan had to be canceled as Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) was in safe mode and no relay pass would occur on Sol 5007 (Feb. 23, 2018). The next plan was for the three sols over the weekend, Sols 5008, 5009 and 5010 (Feb. 24, 25 and 26, 2018). Since the Deep Space Network (DSN) antenna intended for uplink was not available, the project decided not to try to send up the weekend plan and let the rover drop into Automode (no master sequence). On Tuesday, the Sol 5011 (Feb. 27, 2018) plan was successfully carried out and the rover was back under master sequence control, collecting images and conducting science.

As of Sol 5011 (Feb. 27, 2018), the solar array energy production was 669 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.486 and an improved solar array dust factor of 0.881.

Total odometry is 28.03 miles (45.12 kilometers).



sols 4998 to 5004, Feb. 14, 2018 - Feb. 20, 2018: Opportunity Celebrates 5,000 Days on Mars, Snaps First 'Selfie'

Opportunity is continuing the exploration of "Perseverance Valley" on the west rim of Endeavour Crater.

The rover is positioned about half way down the valley. This past week the rover exceeded 5,000 sols (or days) on the surface of Mars. To commemorate Sol 5000 (Feb. 16, 2018), Opportunity for the first time used the Microscopic Imager (MI) on the end of the robotic arm (also called the Instrument Deployment Device, or IDD) to take a self-portrait mosaic "selfie."

The rover continues to collect extensive stereo color Panoramic Camera (Pancam) panoramas and Navigational Camera (Navcam) panoramas from the current location. A beautiful sunrise color Pancam image was taken on the morning of Sol 4999 (Feb. 15, 2018). An atmospheric argon measurement using the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) was collected on the evening of Sol 5001 (Feb. 17, 2018).

As of Sol 5004 (Feb. 20, 2018), the solar array energy production was 653 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.407 and an improved solar array dust factor of 0.850.

Total odometry is 28.03 miles (45.12 kilometers).



sols 4992 to 4997, Feb. 7, 2018 - Feb. 12, 2018: Opportunity Continues to Benefit from Dust Cleaning of the Solar Panels

Opportunity is continuing the exploration of "Perseverance Valley" on the west rim of Endeavour Crater.

The rover is positioned on the north fork of a local flow channel about half way down the valley. Improved energy levels from dust cleaning of the solar arrays continues to benefit activity on the rover. On Sol 4992 (Feb. 7, 2018), Opportunity was able to perform an overnight Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) measurement of atmospheric argon.

On the next sol, the rover bumped about 8 feet (2.5 meters) north to reach some high-value surface targets. Opportunity spent the next two days using the robotic arm (also called the Instrument Deployment Device, or IDD) to investigate the surface using the Microscopic Imager (MI) to collect mosaics and the APXS to perform a pair of offset integrations. On Sol 4997 (Feb. 12, 2018), the rover then drove south just over 52 feet (16 meters) with a pause in between to perform some targeted remote sensing.

As of Sol 4997 (Feb. 12, 2018), the solar array energy production was 605 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.491 and an improved solar array dust factor of 0.870.

Total odometry is 28.03 miles (45.12 kilometers).



sols 4985 to 4991, Jan. 31, 2018 - Feb. 6, 2018: Rover Energy Levels Improve

Opportunity is continuing her exploration of "Perseverance Valley" on the west rim of Endeavour Crater.

The rover has moved along the north fork of a local flow channel about half way down the valley. Greatly improved energy levels from dust cleaning of the solar arrays has allowed the rover to be active longer each day and occasionally overnight. On Sol 4986 (Feb. 1, 2018), the robotic arm (also called the Instrument Deployment Device, or IDD) was used to offset the placement of the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) on a related surface target.

With the improved energy levels, the rover was able to run the APXS overnight for a long integration at favorable instrument detector temperatures. The APXS integration continued into the next sol, although stopping before midnight. Shorter APXS integrations continued for the next two sols along with the collection of sweeping Panoramic Camera (Pancam) color stereo panoramas.

On Sol 4990 (Feb. 5, 2018), Opportunity backed up about 13.1 feet (4 meters) to set up for an approach to an uphill target. On Sol 4991 (Feb. 6, 2018), the rover moved forward about 13.1 feet (4 meters) straight north. However, Opportunity stopped about 3.3 feet (1 meter) short of the intended target due to the difficulty of tracking the progress with visual odometry in this complicated terrain. The plan ahead will be to bump the last meter to reach the intended surface target.

As of Sol 4991 (Feb. 6, 2018), the solar array energy production was an increased 628 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.424 and an improved solar array dust factor of 0.829.

Total odometry is 28.02 miles (45.10 kilometers).



sols 4978 to 4984, Jan. 24, 2018 - Jan. 30, 2018: Opportunity Celebrates 14 Years of Working on Mars

Opportunity is continuing her exploration of "Perseverance Valley" on the west rim of Endeavour Crater.

The rover has moved along the north fork of the local flow channel. Continuing the extensive collection of stereo imagery, the rover used the Navigation Cameras (Navcams) to collect two tiers of a wide panorama. Then on the next sol, the robotic arm (also called the Instrument Deployment Device, or IDD) performed an offset placement of the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) to a new target location. The Panoramic Camera (Pancam) was also used to collect several frames of a color stereo panorama.

Over the next four sols, Opportunity collected a combination of Navcam and color Pancam stereo panoramas and some targeted multi-spectral Pancam images. On Sol 4984 (Jan. 30, 2018), the IDD was used again to reach other surface targets and collect Microscopic Imager (MI) mosaics and place the APXS for a multi-hour integration. Energy production has continued to improve due to dust cleaning of the solar arrays.

As of Sol 4984 (Jan. 30, 2018), the solar array energy production was an increased 665 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.427 and an improved solar array dust factor of 0.847.

Total odometry is 28.02 miles (45.09 kilometers).



sols 4971 to 4977, Jan. 17, 2018 - Jan. 23, 2018: Opportunity Prepares for a Flight Software Update

Opportunity is continuing her winter exploration of "Perseverance Valley" on the west rim of Endeavour Crater from a location in the north fork of the local flow channel.

Color imaging of light toned bedrock and nearby streaked rocks occupied the first few sols. The Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) argon integration was done on Sol 4974 (Jan. 20, 2018). A short 3 foot (1 meter) drive on the next sol positioned the rover at the light toned outcrop and some missing images were retaken.

On Sol 4977 (Jan. 23, 2018), the robotic arm was used to collect a Microscopic Imager (MI) mosaic of a surface target within the work volume of the arm. The APXS was then placed on that target. Also on that sol, the latest version of the flight software was copied over the older fallback version in preparation for a flight software update, later in the year.

Additional dust cleaning has raised solar array energy production to 644 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.423 and an improved solar array dust factor of 0.839.

Total odometry is 28.02 miles (45.09 kilometers).



sols 4965 to 4970, Jan. 11, 2018 - Jan. 16, 2018: Opportunity Gets Dust Cleaning and Passes 45 Kilometers of Driving

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

The rover has moved along the north fork of the local flow channel. However, before moving, the rover spent several sols completing stereo, color panoramas and performing some targeted 13-filter imaging. On Sol 4968 (Jan. 14, 2018), Opportunity drove about 23 feet (7 meters) to the north with the intent of reaching some surface targets for closer investigation.

The sol after the drive, the rover spent recharging the batteries, as it is still winter on Mars. On Sol 4970 (Jan. 16, 2018), Opportunity benefited from a significant dust cleaning of the solar arrays, which happens this time of year.

As of Sol 4970 (Jan. 16, 2018), the solar array energy production was an increased 525 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.460 and an improved solar array dust factor of 0.760.

Total odometry is 28.02 miles (45.09 kilometers).



sols 4958 to 4964, Jan. 3, 2018 - Jan. 10, 2018: Opportunity Takes Right at the Fork and Has Successful Battery Test

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

The rover is positioned upstream of a fork in the flow channels. After some deliberation, it was decided to take the northern branch of this fork and on Sol 4958 (Jan. 3, 2018), Opportunity drove about 13 feet (4 meters) in that direction. The rest of this period was devoted to only remote sensing and use of the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) on Sol 4961 (Jan. 6, 2018), to keep the rover state as stable as possible. Meanwhile, we prepared and executed a test of the Zero Degree Heater (ZDH) on the batteries.

Opportunity's batteries have performed very well over the mission's lifetime but are showing some signs of aging. Martian environment is quite cold and it was suspected that warming the battery during the recharge process may make the battery both more effective and degrade slower. Though never used in flight, the ZDH was intended to do just that-warm the battery. Since it has never been turned on in flight we wanted to be very cautious before using it operationally and so a testing campaign was formulated.

The first original test in this campaign was to turn it on briefly, manually (as opposed to thermostatically), and in a controlled and recoverable (in the case of a fault) setting. This test was executed in the morning of Sol 4964 (Jan. 10, 2018), and appears to have been successful.

As of Sol 4964 (Jan. 10, 2018), the solar array energy production was 426 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.479 and a solar array dust factor of 0.648.

Total odometry is 28.01 miles (45.08 kilometers).



sols 4943 to 4957, Dec. 19, 2017 - Jan. 2, 2018: Opportunity Takes Images Over the Holiday Period

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

The rover is positioned upstream of a fork in the flow channels. Over the holiday period Opportunity stayed in place collecting extensive Panoramic Camera (Pancam) color stereo imagery of the surroundings. Over 70 frames of Pancam imagery were collected. With the robotic arm positioning the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) on a surface target, long elemental integrations were collected on Sols 4943, 4945 and 4947 (Dec. 19, 21 and 23, 2017). Only a single sol, Sol 4956 (Jan. 1, 2018), was a recharge sol.

As of Sol 4957 (Jan. 2, 2018), the solar array energy production was 420 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.483 and a solar array dust factor of 0.663.

Total odometry is 28.01 miles (45.08 kilometers).



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sols 4935 - 4942, Dec. 11, 2017 - Dec. 18, 2017: Opportunity Takes Extensive Imagery to Decide Where to Go

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

The rover is positioned upstream of a fork in the flow channels. The team is collecting imagery to decide which fork, the north fork or the south fork, to explore next. To support that decision, extensive imagery is being collected on almost every sol.

On Sol 4941 (Dec. 17, 2017), the robotic arm was used to collect a Microscopic Imager (MI) mosaic of a surface target within the work volume of the arm. The Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) was then placed on that target.

With the upcoming holidays, the rover will remain in place for a while. This will allow multiple sols of APXS integration on this target. Late on Sol 4942 (Dec. 18, 2017), Opportunity collected a twilight panorama using the Panoramic Camera (Pancam) color stereo imager.

As of Sol 4942 (Dec. 18, 2017), the solar array energy production was 390 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.459 and a solar array dust factor of 0.622.

Total odometry is 28.01 miles (45.08 kilometers).



sols 4930 - 4934, Dec. 6, 2017 - Dec. 10, 2017: Opportunity Comes to a Fork in the Road

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

The rover continued with several days of collecting color, stereo, Panoramic Camera (Pancam) panoramas of the surrounding terrain. Then, on Sol 4934 (Dec. 10, 2017), after a sol of recharging, Opportunity drove about 28 feet (8.4 meters), approximately east, down the valley to a modest energy lily pad. Beyond this point the channel features of the valley split into a left and right fork. The team will collect more imagery from this location to inform the decision as to which fork in the road the rover should take.

As of Sol 4934 (Dec. 10, 2017), the solar array energy production was 408 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.406 and a solar array dust factor of 0.620.

Total odometry is 28.01 miles (45.08 kilometers).



sols 4924 - 4929, Nov. 29, 2017 - Dec. 5, 2017: Opportunity Takes Panoramic Images This Week

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

The past week the rover spent conducting an extensive Panoramic Camera (Pancam) color stereo imaging campaign with large Pancam panoramas collected on almost every sols (day). The plan forward is to complete this imaging campaign before moving on to the next waypoint further down Perseverance Valley.

As of Sol 4929 (Dec. 5, 2017), the solar array energy production was 406 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.417 and a solar array dust factor of 0.624.

Total odometry is 28 miles (45.07 kilometers).



sols 4916 - 4923, Nov. 21, 2017 - Nov. 28, 2017: Opportunity Puts 28 Miles on the Odometer

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

Before moving to the next waypoint, the team commanded the rover on Sol 4916 (Nov. 21, 2017), to collect a Microscopic Image (MI) mosaic of a surface target, and then place the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) for a multi-sol integration. While the APXS was integrating, Opportunity continued to collect extensive color panoramas of the surrounding terrain. These image data are part of a complete digital model the rover is assembling of the entire Perseverance Valley.

With the in-situ (contact) science complete using the APXS, the rover drove on Sol 4922 (Nov. 27, 2017) about 46 feet (14 meters) to the next lily pad (energy favorable location) down the valley. Here Opportunity will continue the extensive image collection and take advantage of any surface targets under her feet.

As of Sol 4923 (Nov. 28, 2017), the solar array energy production was 390 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.416 and a solar array dust factor of 0.619.

Total odometry is 28.00 miles (45,067.60 kilometers).



sols 4910 - 4915, Nov. 15, 2017 - Nov. 20, 2017: Opportunity Greets Winter Solstice

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

The winter solstice occurred on Sol 4915 (Nov. 20, 2017). Energy levels for the rover are improving, mostly due to improving dust factor (cleaning of dust off the solar arrays). The rover is continuing the survey of the surrounding landscape with extensive Panoramic Camera (Pancam) color panoramas in stereo and imagery in the direction of the next drive. The team is still analyzing where to drive next. Only one sol, Sol 4915 was a recharge sol.

As of Sol 4915 (Nov. 20, 2017), the solar array energy production was 401 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.404, and an improved solar array dust factor of 0.628.

Total odometry is 27.99 miles (45.05 kilometers).



sols 4903 - 4909, Nov. 8, 2017 - Nov. 14, 2017: Winds Blow Dust off the Solar Panels Improving Energy Levels

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.

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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).



sols 4896 - 4902, Nov. 1, 2017 - Nov. 7, 2017: Power Continues to be Challenging due to Winter

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. We are in the midst of Winter Operations and power continues to be challenging, which resulted in a number of "recharge" sols (sols 4897, 4899 and 4901/Nov. 2, 4 and 6, 2017).

On Sol 4900 (Nov. 5, 2017), we were able to get a Microscopic Imager (MI) mosaic of and Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) placement on the target "Masilla," though power did not allow for an integration in the same plan. We were also able to capture a few Panoramic Camera (Pancam) mosaics of the area to the north on sols 4896 and 4898 (Nov. 1 and Nov. 3, 2017), and drive direction imagery was planned for Sol 4902 (Nov. 7, 2017), but the plan was not sent due to technical difficulties at the Deep Space Network station. The rover went into "runout" instead, which is an activity light extension of the existing master sequence intended to keep the rover in a benign sequence controlled state in the event the next master does not get on board in a timely fashion. There were no drives during this period. Opportunity seems to have experience some dust cleaning since the last report.

As of Sol 4902 (Nov. 7, 2017), the solar array energy production was 377 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.445 and an improved solar array dust factor of 0.624.

Total odometry is 27.99 miles (45.04 kilometers).



sols 4889 - 4895, Oct. 25, 2017 - Oct. 31, 2017: Opportunity Does a Wheelie and is Back on Solid Footing

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, the left rear wheel popped up as a wheelie. Before another further motion or robotic arm use on the rover, the wheelie will have to be relaxed.

An atmospheric argon measurement with the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) was also performed. Because energy is still a challenge during this deepest part of the winter, Sols 4892 and 4894 (Oct. 28 and Oct. 30, 2017), were recharge sols.

On Sol 4893 (Oct. 29, 2017), the rover performed a small motion to relax the right-rear wheel back onto solid footing. This allowed the rover to use the robotic arm on Sol 4895 (Oct. 31, 2017), to collect a Microscopic Imager (MI) mosaic of a surface target that was followed with the placement of the APXS on the same.

As of Sol 4895 (Oct. 31, 2017), the solar array energy production was 354 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.421 and an improved solar array dust factor of 0.587.

Total odometry is 27.99 miles (45.04 kilometers).



sols 4883 - 4888, Oct. 18, 2017 - Oct. 23, 2017: Strap 1 Women Cross FANIMILA Black Pumps Opportunity Meets Some Challenging Terrain

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

The rover is exploring an interesting feature with evidence of wind scouring. To get a better look the rover attempted a few-meter uphill bump on Sol 4883 (Oct. 18, 2017). But a combination of the steep terrain and the surface characteristics resulted in excessive tilt, so the rover stopped after moving only 4.7 inches (12 centimeters).

On Sol 4885 (Oct. 20, 2017), Opportunity backed down the hill just over 10 feet (3 meters) to get out of the difficult terrain. Although energy production has improved, the change in rover tilt has offset some of the energy gains. Sol 4886 (Oct. 21, 2017), was an engineering-only (no imaging) sol and Sol 4887 (Oct. 22, 2017), was a recharge sol.

The rest of the time, Opportunity has been continuing to collect an extensive color stereo Pancam panorama of the feature called "La Bajada" along with images of the surface that show indications of wind erosion.

As of Sol 4888 (Oct. 23, 2017), the solar array energy production was 316 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.446 and a solar array dust factor of 0.527.

Total odometry is 27.99 miles (45.04 kilometers).



sols 4876 - 4882, Oct. 11, 2017 - Oct. 17, 2017: Opportunity Spends the Week Imaging

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

Although winter conditions are constraining activity, rover energy production has improved slightly, and more of the earlier relay passes from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter are helping, as well. Opportunity has been able to avoid having to dedicate any sols to battery recharging.

The rover spent seven consecutive sols, Sols 4876 to 4882 (Oct. 11 to Oct. 17, 2017), collecting Panoramic Camera (Pancam) panoramas of the subject, called "La Bajada," totaling over 40 color stereo image pairs. Also, on Sol 4876 (Oct. 11, 2017), Opportunity was able to support an evening atmospheric argon measurement with the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS).

As of Sol 4882 (Oct. 17, 2017), the solar array energy production was 358 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.506 and an improved solar array dust factor of 0.558.

Total odometry is 27.98 miles (45.04 kilometers).



sols 4869 - 4875, Oct. 4, 2017 - Oct. 10, 2017: Recent Drive Improves Energy Levels Slightly

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

The cold, low-light winter conditions continue to constrain activity, although with a recent drive, energy levels have improved slightly. Sol 4873 (Oct. 8, 2017), was a recharge sol and sol 4872 (Oct. 7, 2017), had little activity.

Opportunity drove on Sol 4874 (Oct. 9, 2017), about 59 feet (18 meters) back up slope to visit some interesting geology. The end-of-drive location provided favorable solar orientation, improving power production. When not driving or recharging, the rover is collecting extensive Panoramic Camera (Pancam) stereo panoramas of the surrounding geology.

As of Sol 4875 (Oct. 10, 2017), the solar array energy production was 339 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.563 and a solar array dust factor of 0.541.

Total odometry is 27.98 miles (45.04 kilometers).



sols 4862 - 4868, Sept. 27, 2017 - Oct. 3, 2017: Opportunity Feeling the Chemistry

Opportunity is continuing her winter exploration of Perseverance Valley on the west rim of Endeavour crater.

The cold, low-light winter conditions continue to limit activity. Sols 4866 and 4867 (October 1, 2017 and October 2, 2017) were recharge sols with little activity. Opportunity has been conducting surface chemistry surveys with Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS). On Sol 4863, (September 28, 2017) the robotic arm placed the APXS on a new surface target. Integrations were conducted over several sols. Using the robotic arm on Sol 4868, (October 2, 2017) the Microscopic Imager (MI) collected a finder frame of the APXS target location of the surface. When not recharging, the rover has been continuing to collect extensive Pancam and Navcam stereo panoramas of the surrounding area.

As of Sol 4868, the solar array energy production was 284 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.544 and a solar array dust factor of 0.522.

Total odometry is 27.97 miles (45.02 kilometers).



sols 4849 - 4854, Sept. 13, 2017 - Sep. 19, 2017: Opportunity Continues to Survey 'Perseverance Valley' During Winter

Opportunity is continuing the winter exploration of "Perseverance Valley" on the west rim of Endeavour Crater.

Winter continues to constrain activity. Sols 4849, 4852 and 4854 (Sept. 13, Sept. 16 and Sept. 19, 2017), were recharge sols with little to no science activity. However, the rover continues to make good progress is surveying the valley.

On Sol 4850 (Sept. 14, 2017), Opportunity collected a 10x1-frame Panoramic Camera (Pancam) stereo panorama. This was continued on Sol 4854 (Sept. 19, 2017), with a 14x1-frame Pancam stereo panorama, filling out the data set for a complete digital elevation model at this location in the valley. The robotic arm was used on Sol 4851 (Sept. 15, 2017), to set up for an early morning test of the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) on the morning of Sol 4854 (Sept. 19, 2017). A Microscopic Imager (MI) mosaic was collected prior to the APXS placement. The test of the APXS showed that good quality data can be collected in the winter early morning (versus the normal late night).

As of Sol 4854 (Sept. 19, 2017), the solar array energy production was 283 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.524 and a solar array dust factor of 0.507.

Total odometry is 27.97 miles (45.02 kilometers).



sols 4842 - 4848, Sept. 6, 2017 - Sep. 12, 2017: Exploring 'Perseverance Valley' During Winter

Opportunity is continuing the winter exploration of "Perseverance Valley" on the west rim of Endeavour Crater.

Winter is constraining the available energy, so the project has to rover hop (drive) 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's illumination on the rover's solar panels.)

At these lily pad locations, Opportunity has been conducting an extensive stereo survey of the morphology (form and shape) of Perseverance Valley. These data will be combined from throughout the valley to generate a complete digital elevation model that scientists will use to address questions about the valley's formation and origin. But even with the favorable lily pads, the rover still has to spend some days recharging where the rover only wakes briefly for communication and sleeps the rest of the day.

For the past period, Sol 4845 (Sept. 9, 2017), was a recharge sol while the rest focused on completing a Panoramic Camera (Pancam) mosaic of the terrain to the east. We also did a robotic arm (IDD) salute on Sol 4847 (Sept. 11, 2017), in preparation for an attempt at an Alpha Particle X-Ray Spectrometer (APXS) integration on a ground target.

As of Sol 4848 (Sept. 12, 2017), the solar array energy production was 281 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.548 and a solar array dust factor of 0.506.

Total odometry is 27.97 miles (45.02 kilometers).



sols 4835 - 4841, Aug. 30, 2017 - Sep. 5, 2017: 45 Kilometers on the Odometry for Opportunity!

Opportunity is continuing the winter exploration of "Perseverance Valley" on the west rim of Endeavour Crater.

Winter is constraining the available energy, so the project has the rover doing "hops" (drives) 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.)

At these lily pad locations, Opportunity has been conducting an extensive stereo survey of the morphology (form and shape) of "Perseverance Valley." These data will be combined from throughout the valley to generate a complete digital elevation model that scientists will use to address questions about the valley's formation and origin. But even with the favorable lily pads, the rover still has to spend some days recharging where to rover only wakes briefly for communication and sleeps the rest of the day.

For the past period, the rover has remained in place collecting extensive Panoramic Camera (Pancam) and Navigation Camera (Navcam) imagery when power permits. Sols 4835, 4837, 4838 and 4839 (Aug. 30, Sept. 1, Sept. 2 and Sept. 3, 2017), were recharge sols.

As of Sol 4841 (Sept. 5, 2017), the solar array energy production was 285 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.533 and a solar array dust factor of 0.507.

Total odometry is 27.97 miles (45.02 kilometers).



sols 4828 - 4834, Aug. 23, 2017 - Aug. 29, 2017: Opportunity Seeks Energy-Favorable Locations to Recharge its Solar Panels During Winter

Opportunity is exploring "Perseverance Valley" on the west rim of Endeavour crater.

Winter has constrained the energy levels on the rover, so the project 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).

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sols 4822 - 4827, Aug. 17, 2017 - Aug. 22, 2017: Opportunity Staying Put for a Bit to Image Valley

Opportunity is located in "Perseverance Valley" on the west rim of Endeavour Crater.

The rover has been staying in place collecting extensive Panoramic Camera (Pancam) stereo panoramas. Now that we are in the valley, the objective is to extensively document the local morphology (how things look) at each location so that a 3D digital elevation model of the entire valley can be constructed. Opportunity is well underway in that objective at this fist station within the valley.

Winter is being felt by the rover as power levels continued to be constrained. Sol 4826 (Aug. 21, 2017), had to be a recharge sol with no science activities to build battery charge for the next plans activities. This will be a regular occurrence through the rest of the winter.

As of Sol 4827 (Aug. 22, 2017), the solar array energy production was 307 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.683 and a solar array dust factor of 0.518.

Total odometry is 27.96 miles (44.99 kilometers).



sols 4815 - 4821, Aug. 9, 2017 - Aug. 16, 2017: Driving Down the Valley and Recharging Batteries

Opportunity continued driving down "Perseverance Valley."

As rover energy levels dropped, drive strategy is to traverse down the valley then stop at Sun-facing or northerly tilt terrains.

Sol 4815 (Aug. 9, 2017), was a recharge sol with no planned activity other than short wake-ups for communication. On Sol 4816 (Aug. 11, 2017), Opportunity drove 10.5 meters to a favorable northerly tilt location, then did a Quick Fine Attitude (QFA) and collected Navigation Camera (Navcam) images to characterize the local morphology for science. The wheel currents after this drive were within nominal ranges. The next couple sols, the rover continued to collect Panoramic Camera (Pancam) and additional Navcam images to complete science characterization. Sol 4819 (Aug. 14, 2017), was used as another recharge sol, a needed rest before the rover geared up with more imaging activities. On Sol 4820 (Aug. 15, 2017), Pancam and Navcam images were collected to scout the next drive path, with atmospheric tau observations taken on the following sol.

As of Sol 4821 (Aug. 16, 2017), the solar array energy production was 316 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.593 and a solar array dust factor of 0.511.

Total odometry is 27.95 miles (44.99 kilometers).



sols 4808-4814, August 2, 2017 - August 8, 2017: Taking Panoramas and Encountering Some Rocky Terrain

Opportunity is located in Perseverance Valley on the west rim of Endeavour crater and has resumed normal science activities post-conjunction.

Taking advantage of the position through conjunction, on Sol 4809 (August 3, 2017) the rover began two sols of robotic arm activity collecting a set of Microscopic Imager (MI) mosaics of the target called "Parral" and then a set of Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) offset placements on the same. Additionally, the rover collected more Navcam and Pancam panoramas at this same location, filling in some of the science lost due to the reset during solar conjunction.

Since winter is now approaching, energy levels are dropping. Sol 4812 (August 6, 2017) was used as a recharge sol for the rover with no activity other than short wake ups for communication. On Sol 4813 (August 7, 2017), Opportunity drove for the first time since conjunction, however the drive stopped short after 11 feet (3.5 meters) when the rover encountered some difficult terrain while turning. The next sol was used to bump the rover about 4 feet (1.2 meters) to get it away from the challenging rocky outcrop.

As of Sol 4814 (August 8, 2017), the solar array energy production was 319 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.723 and a solar array dust factor of 0.531.

Total odometry is 27.95 miles (44.97 kilometers).



sols 4793 - 4799, July 18, 2017 - July 24, 2017: Opportunity Enters Automode During Solar Conjunction Pause in Commanding

Opportunity is in Perseverance Valley on the west rim of Endeavour Crater and the mission is now in its solar conjunction communications blackout period. The position of Mars as viewed from Earth will remain very close to the sun until early August. In this geometry, the solar corona degrades radio communications between the two planets and restricts spacecraft communication.

In advance of solar conjunction, we prepared two weeks of command sequences and stored them on Opportunity to keep the rover busy during the communication blackout. Although we are now in a moratorium on sending commands, we did receive a tiny amount of relayed Opportunity data on Sol 4797. Those limited data indicated that Opportunity is in automode, a state where no master sequence is running and the rover keeps itself safe while waiting further communication from ground control. We suspect that a warm reset of the rover's computer occurred during the Sol 4795 morning X-band communication session, halting the stored master sequence of commands.

The vehicle is power positive, thermally stable and will continue to honor the scheduled X-band and UHF relay communication passes through the remainder of solar conjunction. As the rover is expected to remain safe and solar corona effects will all but prevent any confident commanding until after conjunction, the project's position is to let the rover remain in automode for the remainder of conjunction. Full investigation of the cause will have to wait until we can resume commanding of the rover.

As of Sol 4793 (July 18, 2017), the solar array energy production was 332 watt-hours, with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.774 and a solar array dust factor of 0.534.

Total odometry remains at 27.95 miles (44.97 kilometers).



sols 4800 - 4807, July 25, 2017 - August 1, 2017: Opportunity Will Continue Exploration of Perseverance Valley

Opportunity, located in Perseverance Valley on the west rim of Endeavour crater, has emerged from solar conjunction.

At the start of conjunction, the rover experienced a warm reset on Sol 4795 (July 20, 2017) which stopped all sequencing and put the rover in a safe state called automode. Recovery action had to wait until the solar conjunction communication blackout period was over.

One sol before the official conclusion of conjunction on Sol 4807 (August 1, 2017), the project sent real-time commands to the rover to restore master sequence control and nominal operations. Those commands were successful and Opportunity is ready to resume normal, post-conjunction planning operations. The cause of the reset back on Sol 4795 (July 20, 2017) is unknown and still under investigation. The rover is otherwise in good health and ready to continue the exploration of Perseverance Valley.

As of Sol 4807 (August 1, 2017), the solar array energy production was 314 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.774 (as of Sol 4793, July 18, 2017) and a solar array dust factor of 0.530.

Total odometry remains at 27.95 miles (44.97 kilometers).



sols 4787 to 4792, July 12, 2017 - July 17, 2017: Opportunity Remains at Current Location Due to Solar Conjunction

Opportunity entered Perseverance Valley on the west rim of Endeavour crater. The rover is positioned within the valley where she will spend the 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. More on solar conjunction here: https://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/allaboutmars/nightsky/solar-conjunction/

Two weeks of commanding have been uploaded to the rover to keep her active during solar conjunction with short communications with the Mars orbiters during the period.

Before the start of solar conjunction, on Sol 4787 (July 12, 2017), the robotic arm was used for some in-situ (contact) science. A Microscopic Imager (MI) mosaic was collected of the targets referred to as "PV_Entrance", followed by the placement of the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) on the same for a multi-hour integration. On Sol 4790 (July 15, 2017), the APXS was offset to a new, adjacent target for another integration. On Sols 4791 and 4792 (July 16, 2017 and July 17, 2017) Opportunity began the collection of the multi-frame color panorama of the feature called "Tierra Adentro".

As of Sol 4792 (July 17, 2017) the solar array energy production was 344 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.706 and a solar array dust factor of 0.534.

Total odometry is 27.95 miles (44.97 kilometers).



sols 4774 - 4786, June 29, 2017 - July 11, 2017: Opportunity Will Spend Three Weeks at Current Location Due to Solar Conjunction

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. More on solar conjunction here: https://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/allaboutmars/nightsky/solar-conjunction/

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).



sols 4767 - 4773, June 21, 2017 - June 27, 2017: Opportunity Continuing Science Campaign at 'Perseverance Valley'

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 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: https://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/allaboutmars/nightsky/solar-conjunction/

On Sol 4767 (June 21, 2017), the rover headed southwest at just over 46 feet (14 meters). And as is typical, Navigation Camera (Navcam) and Panoramic Camera (Pancam) were collected at the end of the drive. On Sol 4769 (June 23, 2017), Opportunity drove again towards the northeast just over 33 feet (10 meters). These drives have been employing "tank steering" that does not require the use of the steering actuators, instead differentially runs the wheels on either side of the rover. On Sol 4772 (June 26, 2017), Opportunity drove just about 26 feet (8 meters), but this time used the rear steering actuators to perform a gentle arc and finished the drive with a turn-in-place that toes-in both rear wheels. On Sol 4773 (June 27, 2017), the test of the right-front steering actuator was tried, after more than 12 years of inactivity. No motion was observed, although another test is planned.

As of Sol 4773 (June 27, 2017), the solar array energy production was 336 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.771 and a solar array dust factor of 0.535.

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Total odometry is 27.90 miles (44.90 kilometers).



sols 4760 - 4766, June 14, 2017 - June 20, 2017: Opportunity Straightens Wheel, Resumes Driving

Opportunity is at the top of Perseverance Valley on the rim of Endeavour Crater.

The rover experienced a left-front wheel steering actuator stall on Sol 4750 (June 4, 2017), leaving the wheel toed out by 33 degrees. Our initial attempts to straighten the wheel failed to yield any results and were suggestive of a mechanical cause for the stalls (in the steering actuator). Fortunately, however a repeat of the diagnostics on Sol 4763 (June 17, 2017), added a twist that may have made a difference. In addition to attempting to actuate the steering at different voltages in a straightening (toe-in) direction, the team also commanded very small (half degree) actuations in the toe-out direction in between the straightening attempts. While these also stalled, the very last straightening attempt appeared to break free from whatever was impeding it and steered the wheel to straight.

This very good result was tempered by the fact that we still do not know for certain what the cause of the stalls was and whether the problem could reoccur.
Therefore, Opportunity will be exercising a precautionary partial moratorium on usage of the steering actuators for the foreseeable future. Specifically, this directs no front usage of steering actuators and only rear usage as circumstances might demand. Instead, tank turning and steering will be used wherever possible. The first nominal drive under these new restrictions was executed on Sol 4766 (June 20, 2017). While the drive ended early, this was due to a visual odometry failure unrelated to steering and was still successful in traversing about 46 feet (14 meters) out of a goal of 18.

As of Sol 4766 (June 20, 2017), the solar array energy production was 364 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.699 and a solar array dust factor of 0.540.

Total odometry is 27.88 miles (44.86 kilometers).



sols 4753 to 4759, June 7, 2017 - June 13, 2017: Collecting Panoramas of High-Value Targets

Opportunity is at the top of Perseverance Valley on the rim of Endeavour crater.

The rover experienced a left-front wheel steering actuator stall on Sol 4750 (June 4, 2017) leaving the wheel 'toed-out' by 33 degrees. On Sol 4752 (June 6, 2017), the rover backed up with an arc to allow investigation of a terrain-related stall. On Sol 4754 (June 8, 2017), the left-front wheel was commanded to steer inward to straight at four different voltages along with other diagnostics.

The wheel failed to steer (zero change in encoder counts) at any of those voltages. To verify the steering diagnostic, a similar steering test was run on the left-rear wheel (known to be good) on Sol 4756 (June 10, 2017). That test of the left-rear wheel performed nominally with the wheel steering as expected, verifying our test procedure. The project is continuing the investigation of the left-front steering actuator stall. Further diagnostics are being developed along with ground testing plans.

While Opportunity's mobility status is under evaluation, the rover continues to collect an extensive Pancam panorama called the "Sprained Ankle Panorama" of the surrounding area along with targeted 13-filter Pancam images of high-value targets.

Also, an atmospheric argon measurement using the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) was performed on the evening of Sol 4757 (June 11, 2017).

As of Sol 4759 (June 13, 2017), the solar array energy production was 343 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.842 and a solar array dust factor of 0.529.

Total odometry is 27.87 miles (44.86 kilometers).


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sols 4746 to 4752, May 31, 2016 - June 6, 2017: Walkabout Above 'Perseverance Valley'

Opportunity is at the top of "Perseverance Valley" on the rim of Endeavour Crater. The plan before proceeding down the valley is to perform a walk-about survey above the valley.

To start the walkabout, on Sol 4746 (May 31, 2017) Opportunity drove about 82 feet (24.9 meters) mostly south toward a chosen waypoint. Images for extensive panoramas were collected with the Navigation Camera (Navcam) and the Panoramic Camera (Pancam). On Sol 4748 (June 2, 2017), the rover took advantage of an opportunity to address some long-standing liens by imaging the grind bit of the Rock Abrasion Tool (RAT) and by collecting some Microscopic Imager (MI) sky flats, both of which require extensive robotic arm movement. On Sol 4750 (June 4, 2017), the plan was to perform a short, tight backward arc, but the left-front steering actuator stalled. With the left-front wheel steered to more than 30 degrees from straight, the focus of the team is first to assess whether this stall was a terrain related phenomenon. So, on Sol 4752 (June 6, 2017), the rover arced back without steering the left-front wheel and imaged the location of the steering stall. Although there is evidence to suggest a terrain effect, it is not conclusive. The next step will be a careful attempt to straighten the left-front wheel. The plan on Sol 4754 (June 8, 2017) is to gently turn the wheel straight.

As of Sol 4752 (June 6, 2017), the solar array energy production is 362 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.788 and a solar array dust factor of 0.530.

Total odometry as of Sol 4752 is 27.87 miles (44.86 kilometers).



sols 4739 to 4745, May 23, 2017 - May 30, 2017: Surveying the Spillway

Opportunity is at the top of Perseverance Valley on the rim of Endeavour crater. The plan before proceeding down the valley is to survey the valley from the top and to perform a walk-about survey above the spillway. The entirety of this most recent period was spent doing extensive imagery in support of the survey of the spillway.

In particular, pancam mosaics from the second station of the long baseline stereo campaign were taken on Sols 4739, 4740, 4741 and 4742 (May 23, 24, 25, 26, 2017). Imagery is now complete at this location, and the rover is expected to move away toward the next location (station three) on Sol 4746 (May 31, 2017).

As of Sol 4745, the solar array energy production was 376 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.834 and a solar array dust factor of 0.543.

Total odometry as of Sol 4745 (May 30, 2017): 27.86 miles (44.8 kilometers).



Sols 4733 to 4738, May 17, 2017 - May 22, 2017: Preparations Continue Before Driving into 'Perseverance Valley'

Opportunity is at the top of Perseverance Valley on the rim of Endeavour crater.

The plan before proceeding down the valley is to survey the valley from the top and to perform a walk-about survey above the spillway.

On Sol 4733 (May 17, 2017), the robotic arm was used to point the Microscopic Imager (MI) up at the sky for some long overdue sky flat calibration images, and in support of the valley surveying objectives a large Navcam panorama was collected. On Sol 4734 (May 18, 2017) the rover performed a 3-point "dogleg" drive of nearly 180 feet (55 meters) to set up for more survey imaging. Opportunity moved again on the next sol about 34 feet (10.5 meters) to position for an even better imaging position. In this location the rover spent the next four sols surveying the region atop the spillway and the valley below with both Pancam and Navcam panoramas. On Sol 4735 (May 19, 2017), an atmospheric argon measurement with the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) was also fit into the rover activities.

As of Sol 4738 (May 22, 2017), the solar array energy production was 376 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.826 and a solar array dust factor of 0.536.

Total odometry as of Sol 4738: 27.86 miles (44.8 kilometers).



sols 4726 - 4732, May 10, 2017 - May 16, 2017: Opportunity Takes in the View from the Top of 'Perseverance Valley'

Opportunity is at the top of "Perseverance Valley" on the rim of Endeavour Crater.

The current plan is to survey the valley below in order to generate a digital elevation map for route planning down the valley.

On Sols 4726 to 4729 (May 10 and May 13, 2017), the rover conducted an extensive Panoramic Camera (Pancam) survey, collecting more than two dozen multi-color frames. Then, on Sol 4730 (May 14, 2017), Opportunity drove north with a 74-feet (22.7-meter) dogleg to reach a promontory that overlooks the valley below. From this location, the rover is collecting one "eye" of a long-baseline stereo survey.

On Sols 4731 and 4732 (May 15 and May 16, 2017), Pancam long-baseline stereo imaging was collected. After this long-baseline imaging campaign is complete, Opportunity will commence a walk-about of the region around the top of the valley spillway.

As of Sol 4732 (May 16, 2017), the solar array energy production was 384 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.870 and a solar array dust factor of 0.547.

Total odometry is 27.82 miles (44.77 kilometers).



sols 4719 - 4725, May 3, 2017 - May 9, 2017: Opportunity Reaches 'Perseverance Valley'

Opportunity has arrived at the top of "Perseverance Valley" on the rim of Endeavour Crater.

The next step on Sol 4720 (May 4, 2017), was a short approach of 39 feet (12 meters) to the northern end of the "spillway" that overtops into Perseverance. From this vantage point, the rover has been engaged in multiple-sol collection of extensive Panoramic Camera (Pancam) panoramas all around the rover. This is to document the spillway notch, as well as, the morphology of the channel that enters into the spillway, along with more distant features.

Early on the morning of Sol 4721 (May 5, 2017), Opportunity was able to capture with the Pancam camera a transit of the Martian moon, Phobos across the sun.

As of Sol 4725 (May 9, 2017), the solar array energy production was 391 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.893 and a solar array dust factor of 0.554.

Total odometry is 27.80 miles (44.74 kilometers).



sols 4712 - 4718, April 26, 2017 - May 2, 2017: Approaching 'Perseverance Valley'

Opportunity is approaching "Perseverance Valley" on the rim of Endeavour Crater.

On the way to Perseverance, the rover collected targeted Panoramic Camera (Pancam) images and panoramas of several fresh (young) craters nearby. On Sol 4716 (April 30, 2017), Opportunity began the approach to Perseverance with a 131-feet (40-meter) drive to the southeast, followed by drive direction imagery. On Sol 4718 (May 2, 2017), the rover drove again just over 105 feet (32 meters), again with more documentary Pancam and Navigation Camera (Navcam) imagery.

The rover will now begin a campaign of wide-baseline stereo imaging down the valley to support the development of a detailed digital elevation model of the valley for route planning. On the morning of Sol 4719 (May 3, 2017), an image of the transit of Phobos will be attempted.

As of Sol 4718 (May 2, 2017), the solar array energy production was 405 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.883 and a solar array dust factor of 0.566.

Total odometry is 27.80 miles (44.73 kilometers).



sols 4706 - 4711, April 19, 2017 - April 25, 2017: Several Drives This Week Put Opportunity Closer to 'Perseverance Valley'

Opportunity is continuing the drive south to "Perseverance Valley" on the rim of Endeavour Crater, and is now only about 262 feet (80 meters) away.

On Sol 4706 (April 19, 2017), she drove about 66 feet (20 meters). On 4708 (April 22, 2017), she drove another 207 feet (63 meters), and on Sol 4710 (April 24, 2017), a further 118 feet (36 meters) ending just to the east of a small crater named "Orion." The terrain has been generally benign and distances have been primarily limited by visibility. In addition, the rover has been operating well and power conditions have been favorable to the extensive driving.

As of Sol 4711 (April 25, 2017), the solar array energy production was 412 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.990 and a solar array dust factor of 0.580.
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Total odometry is 27.75 miles (44.66 kilometers).



sols 4699 - 4704, April 12, 2017 - April 17, 2017: Opportunity Stops to Study a Patch of Exposed Rock Outcrop

Opportunity is continuing the drive south to "Perseverance Valley" on the rim of Endeavour Crater, but with a brief stop along the way. The rover is on top of perhaps the last patch of exposed outcrop before arriving at the gully, so the science team wants to take one last contact measurement.

On Sol 4699 (April 12, 2017), the rover bumped into place to reach a clear outcrop target. On Sol 4700 (April 13, 2017), Opportunity used the Rock Abrasion Tool (RAT) brush on the end of the robotic arm to clear away the target's surface. Then a set of Microscopic Imager (MI) images were collected, followed by the placement of the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) on the same. A small shift in the rover attitude was observed when the RAT was pre-loaded on the surface. To make sure the rover was not shifting during instrument surface contact a pre-load test was performed on Sol 4702 (April 15, 2017). The rover was found to be stable. On Sol 4704 (April 17, 2017), the surface target was ground with the RAT and again a MI mosaic was collected and the APXS was placed.

With the surface work now complete, Opportunity drove 433 feet (132 meters) on Sol 4705 (April 18, 2017). It has been some time since the rover drove over 100 meters in a single sol.

As of Sol 4705 (April 18, 2017), the solar array energy production was 408 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.957 and a solar array dust factor of 0.584.

Total odometry is 27.68 miles (44.54 kilometers).



sols 4692 - 4698, April 05, 2017 - April 11, 2017: Opportunity Nears 'Perseverance Valley'

Opportunity is continuing the drive south to 'Perseverance Valley' on the rim of Endeavour Crater.

The rover drove on Sols 4693 and 4695 (April 6 and April 8, 2017), covering 46 feet (14.11 meters) and 138 feet (41.94 meters), respectively and is now within 0.2 miles (350 meters) of the valley. Targeted Panoramic Camera (Pancam) images were taken before each drive with Navigation Camera (Navcam) and Pancam panoramas collected after the drives. Color clast surveys of the ground were performed on Sols 4692, 4694 and 4696 (April 5, April 7 and April 9, 2017). On Sol 4697 (April 10, 2017), the robotic arm was used to collect a Microscopic Imager (MI) of an exposed outcrop target. The Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) was placed on the same target for a multi-hour integration.

As of Sol 4698 (April 11, 2017), the solar array energy production was 414 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.996 and a solar array dust factor of 0.596.

Total odometry is 27.59 miles (44.41 kilometers).



sols 4685 - 4691, March 29, 2017 - April 4, 2017: Several Drives and Imaging This Week on the Way to 'Perseverance Valley'

Opportunity is heading south to "Perseverance Valley" on the rim of Endeavour Crater.

The rover drove on Sols 4686, 4688 and 4691 (March 30, April 1 and April 4, 2017), covering 127 feet (38.79 meters), 44 feet (13.36 meters) and 91 feet (27.82 meters), respectively. Both Navigation Camera (Navcam) and Panoramic Camera (Pancam) panoramas were collected after each drive. There was also a relay pass with MAVEN on Sol 4688 (April 1, 2017), although there are some questions about the completeness data returned. Additional targeted imagery was collected of the distant bright featured, called "Winnemucca" on Sol 4691 (April 4, 2017).

As of Sol 4691 (April 4, 2017), the solar array energy production was 415 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.981 and a solar array dust factor of 0.597.

Total odometry is 27.56 miles (44.35 kilometers).



sols 4672 - 4677, March 16, 2017 - March 21, 2017: The Dust Storm West of Opportunity is Starting to Abate

Opportunity is just outside the rim of Endeavour Crater, heading to the gully, named 'Perseverance Valley.'

The large regional dust storm to the west of the rover's site has started to abate, although there is still a lot of dust in the atmosphere and rover energy levels are affected.

On Sol 4672 (March 16, 2017), Opportunity drove over 141 feet (43 meters) to the south. Owning to the elevated atmospheric dust, the next sol had to be a recharge sol for the rover to restore charge in the batteries. The tight energy constraints persisted through the 3-sol weekend plan for the rover with only the first sol active with remote sensing and the last two sols used for recharging the batteries. Subsequently, a subtlety in the ground tool power modeling shed some light on the restricted power levels. The ground tool was not properly accounting for the rover's quiet time instead thinking the rover was active and consuming more energy than it really was. This has now been corrected in the tool.

On Sol 4677 (March 21, 2017), Opportunity drove again to the south covering over 62 feet (19 meters) with the usual post-drive Panoramic Camera (Pancam) and Navigation Camera (Navcam) panoramas. The plan ahead is more driving and remote sensing as Opportunity heads towards 'Perseverance Valley.'

As of Sol 4677 (March 21, 2017), the solar array energy production was 423 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 1.181 and a solar array dust factor of 0.615.

Total odometry is 27.48 miles (44.23 kilometers).



sols 4664 - 4671, March 07, 2017 - March 15, 2017: Heading to South to 'Perseverance Valley' Gully

Opportunity is located just outside the rim of Endeavour Crater, heading to the next big science objective, a gully named 'Perseverance Valley.'

Meanwhile a large regional dust storm to the west of the rover's site has been kicking up a lot of dust into the atmosphere. On Sol 4665 (March 8, 2017), Opportunity drove southeast about 69 feet (21 meters). The drive was followed with the usual Panoramic Camera (Pancam) and Navigation Camera (Navcam) panoramas to document the site and plan for the next drive. The rover had hoped to drive over the weekend. But a combination of late data and elevated atmospheric opacity (dusty skies) limited the weekend's activity.

Opportunity drove again on Sol 4670 (March 13, 2017), with just under 118 feet (36 meters) to the south. The plan ahead is more driving to make progress towards 'Perseverance Valley.'

As of Sol 4671 (March 15, 2017), the solar array energy production was 366 watt-hours with an elevated atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 1.692 and a solar array dust factor of 0.653.

Total odometry is 27.44 miles (44.16 kilometers).



sols 4657 - 4663, February 28, 2017 - March 06, 2017: Driving South to Gully

Opportunity is located just outside the rim of Endeavour Crater, less than half a mile (700 meters) away from the next big science objective, a gully.

The rover completed the last in-situ science measurements inside Endeavour Crater on Sol 4657 (Feb. 28, 2017). Because of constrained data volume, Sol 4658 (March 1, 2017), was a dedicated 'atmospheres' day, a sol of just low-data volume atmospheric observations.

On Sol 4659 (March 2, 2017), Opportunity drove 42 feet (12.9 meters) to the west, exiting Endeavour Crater. The plan is to drive south quickly out on the plains toward the gully and then re-enter the rim. On Sol 4660 (March 3, 2017), the rover covered over 98 feet (30 meters) in the first drive south. An atmospheric measurement of argon was performed on the next sol using the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS). On Sol 4663 (March 6, 2017), Opportunity covered another 94 feet (28.7 meters) to the south. As with each drive extensive Navigation Camera (Navcam) and Panoramic Camera (Pancam) imagery is collected. Atmospheric opacity is still elevated due to the recent regional dust storms.

As of Sol 4663 (March 6, 2017), the solar array energy production was 441 watt-hours with an elevated atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 1.660 and a solar array dust factor of 0.770.

Total odometry is 27.41 miles (44.11 kilometers).



sols 4651 - 4656, February 22, 2017 - February 27, 2017: Getting Closer to Gully

Opportunity is located on the rim of Endeavour Crater, less than half a mile (700 meters) away from the next big science objective, a gully.

Before then, the science team is completing investigations by the rover at a location near the outside edge of the crater. Extensive grooves and scour marks are provoking varied hypotheses. In addition, the rover has been collecting an impressive color panorama of the current location, named "Rocheport."

On almost every sol, the Panoramic Camera (Pancam) has been collecting multi-filter image panoramas. On Sol 4652 (Feb. 23, 2017), the robotic arm was used to collect more Microscopic Imager (MI) images of the surface target named "Boonville." A multi-hour Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) measurement on an offset placement was also made. On Sol 4654 (Feb. 25, 2017), the rover bumped only 4 feet (1.3 meters) to set up for another surface target, called "Waverly." And on Sol 4656 (Feb. 27, 2017), more MI images were taken along with the placement of the APXS on the new target.

Over the past few sols a large regional dust storm a few hundred kilometers to the west of the rover has been elevating the atmospheric opacity over the rover site. Although this storm has kicked up a lot of dust into the atmosphere, the turbulence has produced some dust cleaning on the rover's solar panels. The rover team along with our Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter colleagues continue to monitor the progress of this storm.

As of Sol 4656 (Feb. 27, 2017), the solar array energy production was 458 watt-hours with an elevated atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 1.466 and an improved solar array dust factor of 0.841.

Total odometry is 27.36 miles (44.03 kilometers).



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sols 4637 - 4643, February 8, 2017 - February 14, 2017: Leaving Crater Rim for the Plains of Meridiani

Opportunity is located on the rim of Endeavour crater, about to leave the rim and get back on the plains of Meridiani.

The rover is not leaving the crater, just setting up for faster progress south along the rim toward the next major scientific objective, the gully now less than a kilometer away.

Opportunity completed the last in-situ (contact) measurements on Sol 4638 (Feb. 9, 2017). The rover collected a Microscopic Image (MI) mosaic of the surface outcrop and then placed the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) on the same for a multi-hour integration. On Sol 4640 (Feb. 11, 2017), Opportunity drove about 92 feet (28 meters) to the southwest, just at the edge of the plains of Meridiani. The geologic formations at the rims edge exhibit extensive scours and grooves. So, the science team is collecting extensive Navigation Camera (Navcam) and color Panoramic Camera (Pancam) panoramas at this location. The rover also benefited from a cleaning event of dust off the solar arrays sometime around Sol 4637 (Feb. 8, 2017).

As of Sol 4643 (Feb. 14, 2017), the solar array energy production was an improved 484 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.816 and an improved solar array dust factor of 0.716.

Total odometry is 27.36 miles (44.03 kilometers).



sols 4631 - 4636, February 01, 2017 - February 07, 2017: Opportunity Clicks Over 44 Kilometers on the Odometer!

Opportunity is located on the rim of Endeavour Crater. The rover is making progress towards the next major scientific objective, the gully less than a kilometer south of the current location.

The rover has been driving on most planning sols. On Sol 4631 (Feb. 1, 2017), Opportunity traveled just under 85 feet (26 meters) to the southwest. The drive was followed with the collection of both Panoramic Camera (Pancam) and Navigation Camera (Navcam) panoramas. On Sol 4633 (Feb. 3, 2017), the rover drove again to the southwest just over 72 feet (22 meters) with more post-drive Pancam and Navcam panoramas. On Sol 4636 (Feb. 7, 2017), the rover added another 42 feet (13 meters) of distance. With this drive Opportunity exceeded 44 kilometers (27.34 miles) of odometry since landing, not bad for a 1 kilometer requirement.

As of Sol 4636 (Feb. 7, 2017), the solar array energy production was approximately 414 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.822 and a solar array dust factor of 0.646.

Total odometry is 27.34 miles (44.00 kilometers).



sols 4624 - 4630, January 25, 2017 - January 31, 2017: Opportunity Takes Advantage of her Location to do a Mini Science Campaign

Opportunity is located on the rim of Endeavour Crater, heading south.

The rover is trying to make progress towards the next major scientific objective, the gully about a kilometer south of the current location. The rover recently turned from heading west to heading south around the north edge of "Beacon Rock." On Sol 4624 (Jan. 25, 2017), Opportunity drove 76 feet (23.25 meters), the last westward move before turning south. Over the next two sols, the rover drove both days covering 62 feet (18.91 meters) and 38.45 feet (11.72 meters), respectively.

Taking advantage of her location, Opportunity conducted a short in-situ (contact) science campaign on Sol 4629 (Jan. 30, 2017), using the robotic arm to collect a Microscopic Imager (MI) mosaic of a surface target and placing the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) on the same for a multi-hour integration. She also fit in an atmospheric argon measurement with the APXS on an earlier sol.

On Sol 4630 (Jan. 31, 2017), it was another push to the south with a 71.49 feet (21.79 meter) drive. This last drive stopped a little short because the visual odometry algorithm had difficulty resolving progress from near-featureless images of the ground. Lots of Navigation Camera (Navcam) and Panoramic Camera (Pancam) panoramas have been collected after each drive.

Platinum Nike Running 5 Shoe White Pure Women's White 0 Free rIwqC0rAs of Sol 4630 (Jan. 31, 2017), the solar array energy production was 466 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.801 and a solar array dust factor of 0.681.

Total odometry is 27.30 miles (43.94 kilometers).



sols 4617 - 4623, January 18, 2017 - January 24, 2017: Opportunity Celebrates 13 Years of Operations on Mars

Opportunity celebrated her 13th birthday on Sol 4623 (January 24, 2017 PST). She spent it as she has most recent sols -- heading south along the rim of Endeavour Crater.

The rover is currently trying to make rapid progress toward the next major scientific objective, the gully about a kilometer south of the current location. Toward that end Opportunity has been doing a lot of driving. Though the terrain is particularly rough and steep, she managed to travel about 256 feet (78 meters) in four drives during this latest period.

As of Sol 4623 (Jan. 24, 2017), the solar array energy production was 416 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.684 and a solar array dust factor of 0.650.

Total odometry is 27.26 miles (43.87 kilometers).



sols 4610 - 4616, January 11, 2017 - January 17, 2017: Driving Up a Steep Slope

Opportunity is located on the rim of Endeavour Crater, heading south along the rim.

The rover is trying to make progress towards the next major scientific objective, the gully about a kilometer south of the current location. However, the local terrain has been a challenge with steep slopes (over 20 degrees) and terrain that breaks down into loose material under the driving shear forces of the rover's wheels.

On Sol 4611 (Jan. 12, 2017), Opportunity attempted to drive up a steep slope, but flight software stopped the drive after just 4 feet (1.25 meters) when it sensed that the wheels were drawing too much current, a possible indicator of embedding. Drive imagery showed the surface material crumbling and causing the wheels to slip. That drive was part of a three-sol plan that included a late-night MAVEN Ultra High Frequency (UHF) relay pass. Because the MAVEN pass required the rover to stay up near midnight, a nighttime Demos moon observation was successfully captured and returned over the MAVEN pass. On the next sol, no relay data were returned from the rover because the Odyssey orbiter's low-elevation flight pass was occulted by the elevated horizon.

To get Opportunity going again, the rover was commanded on Sol 4614 (Jan. 15, 2017), to back down about half a meter then turn left and travel more cross slope to exposed rock outcrop. This was successful with the rover completing all 48 feet (14.67 meters) of the commanded drive with little slip. An atmospheric argon measurement by the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) was also performed on the same sol after the drive. As is the case after each move, Opportunity collects extensive imagery to support both driving and science.

As of Sol 4615 (Jan. 16, 2017), the solar array energy production was 500 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.657 and a solar array dust factor of 0.670.

Total odometry is 27.21 miles (43.79 kilometers).



sols 4603 - 4609, January 04, 2017 - January 10, 2017: Opportunity Continues Its Journey South Along Crater Rim

Opportunity is located on the rim of Endeavour Crater, heading south along the rim.

The near-term plan is to reach a valley called 'Willamette' where grooves are seen in orbital imagery. The rover had recently disturbed the surface soil during a challenging uphill drive and revealed some interesting bright material. The science team saw this as an opportunity to conduct some long overdue in-situ (contact) analysis. So, on Sol 4603 (Jan. 4, 2017), Opportunity began using the robotic arm to investigate the exposed material, first with the Microscopic Imager (MI) to collect a mosaic of the surface and then placing the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) on the ground for a multi-hour integration.

On Sol 4605 (Jan. 6, 2017), an offset surface target was selected, again for a MI mosaic and offset APXS placement. During these sols, remote sensing imagery with the Panoramic Camera (Pancam) and Navigation Camera (Navcam) cameras was also collected. On Sol 4607 (Jan. 8, 2017), it became time to get on the road again. Opportunity drove about 41 feet (12.6 meter) to the northeast to get around some troubling terrain. Then on Sol 4609 (Jan. 10, 2017), the rover headed roughly west in a two-segment drive, totaling over 82 feet (25 meters).

As of Sol 4609 (Jan. 10, 2017), the solar array energy production was 463 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.724 and a solar array dust factor of 0.671.

Total odometry is 27.20 miles (43.77 kilometers).



sols 4590 - 4602, December 22, 2016 - January 03, 2017: A New Year Yields Interesting Bright Soil

Opportunity is located on the rim of Endeavour crater, heading south along the rim. The near-term plan is to reach a valley called "Willamette" where grooves are seen in orbital imagery. Just before the holidays, the rover encountered some difficult, steep terrain. As the rover tried to advance up 20-degree slopes, the wheels began to dig up the soil and progress slowed to a near stop. Sensing this, the rover stopped her drive and waited. So, on Sol 4590 (Dec. 22, 2016), the team had Opportunity back down a short, 2-foot (70-cm) distance to put the rover on a more solid footing.

Before we could continue with rover activities through the holidays, Mars Odyssey went into "safe mode," an event that prevented relay data return from Opportunity. The rover was patient for several sols and in good health. With Odyssey back, on Sol 4601 (January 2, 2017) Opportunity moved another 6.6 feet (2 meters) to get a good look of the terrain that was disturbed during the up-hill driving challenge. The disturbed soil reveals brightly colored, unconsolidated material that is of great interest to the science team. So, the plan ahead is to use the rover's robotic arm instruments to investigate this bright soil.

As of Sol 4602, (January 3, 2017) the solar array energy production is 520 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.752 and a solar array dust factor of 0.683.

Total odometry is 27.17 miles (43.74 kilometers).



sols 4583 - 4589, December 14, 2016 - December 21, 2016: Tackling Challenging Terrain

Opportunity is making progress towards the next science objective of the extended mission, an ancient water-carved gully about a kilometer south of the rover's current location on the rim of Endeavour crater. The recent plans have emphasized driving, with the near-term objective of reaching "Willamette Valley". The driving has been challenging because of the steep slopes that typically face away from the sun. On Sols 4584, 4586 and 4588, (Dec. 15, 17, and 19, 2016) Opportunity traveled 85, 102, 69 feet (26, 31 and 21 meters) respectively, generally to the west-southwest. The team collected supporting Navcam and targeted Pancam imagery between drives. The project is trying to decide on which side of "Beacon Rock", a large promontory, to drive. On Sol 4589 (Dec. 20, 2016), drivers planned to drive west and up the slope. However, the drive stopped after only 23 feet (7 meters) of progress because the rover started to embed. The onboard software alerted the team when wheel motor currents exceeded a preset amount. After examining the situation, the project is planning a short 8-foot (2.5 meter) backward drive downslope to get the rover out of this challenging terrain and back on solid bedrock. As of Sol 4589 (Dec. 20, 2016) the solar array energy production is 458 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.772 and a solar array dust factor of 0.670. Total odometry is 27.17 miles (43.74 kilometers).



sols 4576 - 4582, December 07, 2016 - December 13, 2016: Rover Performs Several Drives to Ancient Gully

Opportunity is making progress towards the next science objective of the extended mission. The rover is headed toward an ancient water-carved gully about a kilometer south of the rover's current location on the rim of Endeavour Crater. The recent plans have emphasized driving. On Sol 4577 (Dec. 8, 2016), Opportunity intended a 59-feet (18-meter) drive to the southwest. However, the rover only achieved just over 39 feet (12 meters). The rover was using visual odometry (VO) to monitor her progress. After the 12-meters of progress VO failed to resolve surface features sufficiently to establish progress and stopped the drive. This is not uncommon when the local terrain around the rover may have few features or shadows of the rover confuse the algorithm. On Sol 4580 (Dec. 11, 2016), the rover made further progress to the southwest covering over 49 feet (15 meters). Because the rover is driving on slopes tilted away from the Sun, power has been constrained and drives limited in distance. Some sols following the drives have been 'recharge' sols, sols with limited rover activity. Another drive on Sol 4582 (Dec. 13, 2016), added another 56 feet (17 meters) again towards the southwest. And as always, extensive Navigation Camera (Navcam) and Panoramic Camera (Pancam) images have been collected following each drive. As of Sol 4582 (Dec. 13, 2016), the solar array energy production is 411 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.836 and a solar array dust factor of 0.675. Total odometry is 27.12 miles (43.65 kilometers).



sols 4569 - 4575, November 30, 2016 - December 06, 2016: Rover Headed Toward an Ancient Water-Carved Gully

Opportunity is heading towards the next science objective of the extended mission. The rover is headed toward an ancient water-carved gully about a kilometer south of the rover's current location on the rim of Endeavour Crater. On Sol 4570 (Dec. 1, 2016), Opportunity drove 82 feet (25 meters) on steep slopes towards the southwest. As is practice, post-drive Panoramic Camera (Pancam) and Navigation Camera (Navcam) panoramas were collected. The plan for the next three sols was to further collect documentary Pancam and Navcam imagery. However, the next three-sol plan was never sent due to a problem with a Deep Space Network (DSN) antenna. The rover instead executed an on-board run-out sol and then dropped into auto mode (a safe state for the rover while waiting for commands) until the next plan could be sent on Sol 4575 (Dec. 6, 2016). On Sol 4575, Opportunity was restored to master sequence control and proceed to collect more images. As of Sol 4575 (Dec. 6, 2016), the solar array energy production is 372 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.853 and a solar array dust factor of 0.646. Total odometry is 27.09 miles (43.60 kilometers).



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sols 4556 - 4568, November 16, 2016 - November 29, 2016: A Probable Path Forward to The 'Gully'

Opportunity is heading towards the next science waypoint on the rim of Endeavour Crater. Early in this period, Sols 4556 and 4559 (Nov. 16, 2016 and Nov. 19, 2016) she did quite a bit of exploratory driving in an effort to attain a good vantage point for finding a path through a troubling area of boulder patch and steep slopes ahead. The concern was whether the available routes to avoid the boulders were all too steep to traverse, in which case we would have to forgo the current 'Extended Mission 10' (EM10) route and backtrack to find a different route to our main objective, the 'gully.' Fortunately, the imaging following the drive on Sol 4559 (Nov.19, 2016) did indeed show a route forward and so with the Sol 4566 (Nov. 27, 2016) drive we proceeded 56 feet (17 meters) along the EM10 route. This was followed by an additional 82 feet (25 meters) on Sol 4568 (Nov. 29, 2016). As of Sol 4568 (Nov. 29, 2016), the solar array energy production is 465 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.902 and a solar array dust factor of 0.690. Total odometry is 27.05 miles (43.52 kilometers).



sols 4549 - 4555, November 09, 2016 - November 15, 2016: Team Considering a Different Route Due to Boulder Field Ahead

Opportunity is heading towards the next science waypoint on the rim of Endeavour Crater. On Sol 4550 (Nov. 10, 2016), the rover headed east about 39 feet (12 meters). On Sol 4552 (Nov. 12, 2016), Opportunity planned a long drive, but was cut short after protective software stopped the drive because of elevated wheel currents in the right-front wheel. The rover was attempting a turn in place on a steep slope. That put additional stress on the right-front wheel. Sensing that stress in the wheel current the rover's flight software stopped the drive. On Sol 4554 (Nov. 14, 2016), Opportunity continued the drive to the east for about 39 feet (12 meters), this time with a gentler turn for the rover's right-front wheel. Recent images show an extensive boulder field ahead on a steep slope, so the rover team may consider a different route. As of Sol 4555 (Nov. 15, 2016), the solar array energy production is 468 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.862 and a solar array dust factor of 0.697. Total odometry is 27.04 miles (43.51 kilometers).



sols 4542 - 4548, November 02, 2016 - November 08, 2016: Opportunity Heads to Next Science Waypoint and Pushes Over 27 Miles on the Odometer

Opportunity has moved on from 'Spirit Mound' on the rim of Endeavour Crater. After several sols of collecting both Navigation Camera (Navcam) and Panoramic Camera (Pancam) panoramas around Spirit Mound, on Sol 4546 (Nov. 6, 2016), the rover drove about 112 feet (34 meters) to the south-southwest, heading for the next science waypoint. After the drive, Opportunity again collected more Navcam and Pancam panoramas, collecting a full 360-degree Navcam panorama on Sol 4547 (Nov. 7, 2016). On Sol 4548 (Nov. 8, 2016), the rover intended to drive about 43 feet (13 meters), but the drive was terminated after only 33 inches (85 centimeters) of progress. Opportunity contains a special flight software algorithm to check for possible wheel embedding events. The algorithm stops a drive anytime three or more wheel experiences higher than expected drive currents, a possible indicator of embedding. On this drive, there was a false positive. Steep terrain, not embedding, resulting in higher current. The plan ahead is to recover the full drive, but add allowances for the steep terrain. As of Sol 4548 (Nov. 8, 2016), the solar array energy production is 445 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.886 and a solar array dust factor of 0.706. Total odometry is 27.02 miles (43.48 kilometers).



sols 4535 - 4541, October 26, 2016 - November 01, 2016: Small U-turn to Reach Summit of Spirit Mound

Opportunity is located at the feature called 'Spirit Mound' on the rim of Endeavour Crater, the first science waypoint of the 10th extended mission. The rover is completing the in-situ (contact) investigation of targets in this area. On Sol 4536 (Oct. 27, 2016), the rover collected a Microscopic Imager (MI) mosaic of the target 'Lupus' then placed the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) on an offset target. The rover continued over the next few sols to collect Panoramic Camera (Pancam) and Navigation Camera (Navcam) imagery. Then, on Sol 4538 (Oct. 29, 2016), the rover did a 16-foot (5-meter) U-turn to reach the summit of Spirit Mound. On Sol 4539 (Oct. 30, 2016), a readout of the rover's EEPROM (non-volatile memory called electrically erasable programmable read-only memory) was successfully returned to Earth. This readout will be used in the testbed rovers on the ground. As a result, the testbeds will be more accurately configured like the flight rover. As of Sol 4541 (Nov. 1, 2016), the solar array energy production is 390 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.954 and a solar array dust factor of 0.711. Total odometry is 26.998 miles (43.45 kilometers).



sols 4528 - 4534, October 19, 2016 - October 25, 2016: Supporting ESA ExoMars Arrival

Opportunity is located at the feature called 'Spirit Mound' on the rim of Endeavour Crater, the first science waypoint of the 10th extended mission. The rover is continuing the in-situ (contact) investigation of several targets in this area. On Sol 4528 (Oct. 16, 2016), the rover attempted to image the Schiaparelli EDM landing, but unfortunately the resulting images show no sign of the vehicle. From Sol 4528 (Oct. 19, 2016) through Sol 4533 (Oct. 24, 2016), we had relinquished much of our relay support to EDM so our activity level was somewhat muted and consisted mostly of remote science and one overnight Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) Argon integration. On Sol 4534 (Oct. 26, 2016) we returned to normal operations with a robotic arm (IDD) campaign on a few small bright features that appeared in our work plane following incidental wheel scuffing from the turn for communication on Sol 4527 (Oct. 18, 2016). As of Sol 4534 (Oct. 25, 2016), the solar array energy production is 463 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.960 and an improved solar array dust factor of 0.718. Total odometry is 26.99 miles (43.44 kilometers).



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sols 4522 - 4527, October 12, 2016 - October 18, 2016: Preparations for an Attempt to Image Mars Arrival

Opportunity is located at the feature called 'Spirit Mound' on the rim of Endeavour Crater, the first science waypoint of the 10th extended mission. The rover is continuing the in-situ (contact) investigation of several targets in this area. The rover is also preparing for the imaging of the ESA Schiaparelli Entry, Descent and Landing Demonstrator Module (EDM). Several practice images with the Panoramic Camera (Pancam) were tried over several sols. On Sol 4522 (Oct. 12, 2016), in addition to several practice images, Opportunity used the robotic arm to investigate the surface target called 'Jefferson City.' The rover collected a Microscopic Imager (MI) mosaic and then placed the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) on the target. Later on Sol 4524 (Oct. 14, 2016), the rover offset the APXS relative to the initial target for further integration. Selective Pancam panoramas and targeted 13-filter images were also collected. On Sol 4527 (Oct. 18, 2016), the rover bumped just over a meter to some new targets. The rover will stay put for the next few sols as the Schiaparelli EDM entry, decent and landing occurs. Opportunity will attempt the imaging of the landing on Sol 4528 (Oct. 19, 2016). (Update information indicates that the lander did not come into view of the camera, however.) As of Sol 4527 (Oct. 18, 2016), the solar array energy production is 506 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.909 and an improved solar array dust factor of 0.743. Total odometry is 26.99 miles (43.44 kilometers).



sols 4515 - 4521, October 05, 2016 - October 11, 2016: Rover Conducting Science Investigations at 'Spirit Mound'

Opportunity is located at the feature called 'Spirit Mound' on the rim of Endeavour Crater, the first science waypoint of the 10th extended mission. The rover is by the surface featured called 'Gasconade,' conducting detailed in-situ (contact) investigations with the robotic arm. On Sol 4515 (Oct. 5, 2016), Opportunity used the robotic arm to collect a Microscopic Imager (MI) mosaic of the target, then place the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) on an offset from Gasconade for a multi-hour integration. On the next sol, the rover performed a small, 11-degree turn to set up for another surface target. On the sol after that, Opportunity collected a MI mosaic of the new target and then placed the APXS. Over the coming sols, the rover collected a Navigation Camera (Navcam) panorama of Spirit Mound before backing up just over a meter on Sol 4520 (Oct. 10, 2016), to image the targets in the robotic arm work volume. Then on Sol 4521 (Oct. 11, 2016), the rover performed a 6-foot (1.9-meter) approach to a new set of surface targets. A solar array dust cleaning event happened on Sol 4517 (Oct. 7, 2016), improving the rover's daily energy production. As of Sol 4521 (Oct. 11, 2016), the solar array energy production is 507 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.907 and an improved solar array dust factor of 0.764. Total odometry is 26.99 miles (43.44 kilometers).



sols 4507 - 4514, September 27, 2016 - October 04, 2016: Opportunity at First Science Spot of its 10th Extended Mission

Opportunity is located at the terrain feature called 'Spirit Mound' on the rim of Endeavour Crater, the first science waypoint of the 10th extended mission. The rover has been positioned near a surface featured called 'Gasconade'. On Sol 4507 (Sept. 27, 2016), Opportunity performed a tiny turn-in-place to position the robotic arm work volume around the feature Gasconade. With the turn complete, the rover also collected both Navigation Camera (Navcam) and Panoramic Camera (Pancam) panoramas. Then on Sol 4509 (Sept. 29, 2016), Opportunity began a multi-sol in-situ (contact) campaign to investigate this new target. The robotic arm was used to collect a Microscopic Imager (MI) mosaic of the target, then place the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) on the same for a multi-hour integration. Additional MI mosaics and new APXS offset placements were performed on Sols 4512 and 4514 (Oct. 2 and Oct. 4, 2016). Additionally, targeted multi-spectral images were collected on the surface targets. As of Sol 4514 (Oct. 4, 2016), the solar array energy production is 472 watt-hours with an elevated atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.878 and a solar array dust factor of 0.706. Total odometry is 26.99 miles (43.44 kilometers).



sols 4500 - 4506, September 20, 2016 - September 26, 2016: Busy Week of Science and Imaging for Opportunity

Since leaving the "Lewis and Clark Gap" of Marathon Valley, Opportunity has been driving through "Bitterroot valley" toward her first waypoint of the new extended mission, "Spirit Mound." ith the Sol 4500 (Sept. 20, 2016) drive, she arrived at the base of the mound. The rover then bumped to a parking position for imaging and access to possible surface targets on Sol 4502 (Sept. 22, 2016). Finally, on Sol 4505 (Sept. 25, 2016), Opportunity bumped to "Gasconade," a thin, bright and linear outcrop, another possible surface target. The Sol 4500 uplink had to be shortened to avoid an X-band fault due to a very late X-band pass and Earth set below the highly tilted rover deck. A Quick Fine Attitude (QFA) was also done on Sol 4500. Panoramic Camera (Pancam) images of Spirit Mound and a Navigation Camera (Navcam) panorama were done on Sol 4501 (Sept. 21, 2016), with dust devil monitoring the following morning. On Sol 4502 (Sept. 22, 2016) Pancam images of nearby boulders were taken before the drive and a post-drive Pancam mosaic of Spirit Mound was taken afterwards. Opportunity took more color Pancam images of Spirit Mound, performed a Pancam low sun survey, and took Microscopic Imager (MI) sky flats on Sol 4503 (Sept. 23, 2016), with a Pancam horizon survey the following morning. On Sol 4504 (Sept. 24, 2016), Opportunity took a 13-filter Pancam image of "Council Bluffs", a section of the ridge south of Gasconade, and Gasconade itself, followed by a Pancam 4x1 context panorama of the ridgeline including Council Bluffs. On Sol 4506 (Sept. 26, 2016), Opportunity collected a Navcam image of her tracks, took a Pancam image of "Portland," a breccia target, and a Pancam mosaic of the top of Spirit Mound above Gasconade. As of Sol 4506 (Sept. 26, 2016), the solar array energy production is 474 watt-hours with an elevated atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.892 and a solar array dust factor of 0.701. Total odometry as of Sol 4505 (Sept. 25, 2016) is 26.99 miles (43.44 kilometers).



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sols 4494 - 4500, September 14, 2016 - September 20, 2016: Rover Makes Its Way to 'Spirit Mound,' The First Waypoint in Extended Mission

Opportunity is making her way towards the first science waypoint of the new extended mission on the rim of Endeavour Crater. The first waypoint is a feature named 'Spirit Mound,' one of the locations visited by the Corps of Discovery 200 years ago. The rover has been driving due east and collecting both Panoramic Camera (Pancam) and Navigation Camera (Navcam) panoramas along the way, both to document the terrain and to provide drive-direction paths. On Sols 4495, 4497 and 4500 (Sept. 15, Sept. 17 and Sept. 20, 2016), Opportunity drove 159 feet, 91 feet and 88 feet (48.35 meters, 27.71 meters and 26.95 meters), respectively. All of the driving has been down slope and some forward slippages has been apparent. As of Sol 4500 (Sept. 20, 2016), the solar array energy production is 520 watt-hours with an elevated atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.845 and a solar array dust factor of 0.693. Total odometry is 26.99 miles (43.43 kilometers).



sols 4488 - 4493, September 07, 2016 - September 13, 2016: Opportunity Heads Toward First Waypoint of its Next Extended Mission

After more than a year of exploration, Opportunity has left 'Marathon Valley,' located on the rim of Endeavour Crater. The rover has begun the next extended mission (ahead of schedule) after exiting through 'Lewis and Clark Gap' on Sol 4484 (Sept. 3, 2016). Opportunity is headed toward the first waypoint of the new extended mission. Dust storms have been occurring as expected for this time of year, although none have threatened the rover. They have elevated the atmospheric opacity (tau) over the rover site, which is seen in the rover's lower daily energy production. On Sols 4488 and 4489 (Sept. 7 and Sept. 9, 2016), the rover continued the collection of extensive Navigation Camera (Navcam) and color Panoramic Camera (Pancam) imagery. On Sol 4491 (Sept. 11, 2016), the rover headed 26 meters exactly due east. This was followed by the collection post-drive Navcam and Pancam panoramas. On Sol 4493 (Sept. 13, 2016), Opportunity drove again, about 121 feet (37 meters), making progress towards the first science waypoint of the new extended mission. An atmospheric argon measurement with the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) was collected on that evening. As of Sol 4493 (Sept. 13, 2016), the solar array energy production is 515 watt-hours with an elevated atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.889 and a solar array dust factor of 0.698. Total odometry is 26.92 miles (43.33 kilometers).



sols 4481 - 4487, August 31, 2016 - September 06, 2016: Opportunity Has Left 'Marathon Valley' and Is Heading into Endeavour Crater

Opportunity has officially left Marathon Valley. On Sol 4482 (Sept. 1, 2016), we approached the 'Lewis and Clark Gap' and with the successful drive on Sol 4484 (Sept. 3, 2016) we passed through and are now on a course that will take us into Endeavour Crater. Regional dust storms are beginning to occur in our general vicinity leading to higher general atmospheric opacity (tau), but Opportunity has not yet experienced any storm activity directly. As of Sol 4486 (Sept. 5, 2016), the solar array energy production is 476 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.957 and a solar array dust factor of 0.675. Total odometry is 26.88 miles (43.26 kilometers).



sols 4474 - 4480, August 24, 2016 - August 30, 2016: Dust Storm Reduces Available Solar Energy on Opportunity

Opportunity is completing the exploration of 'Marathon Valley' on the rim of Endeavour crater. The rover completed a Panoramic Camera (Pancam) mosaic of the grooves on Sol 4474 (Aug. 24, 2016), along with an Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) measurement. Opportunity bumped only 24 inches (62 centimeters) on the next sol for a closer look at some nearby surface targets. From this location, the rover collected a Pancam panorama of 'Lewis and Clark Gap,' the next destination. On Sol 4477 (Aug. 27, 2016), Opportunity headed south for about 161 feet (49 meters) with a small dogleg at the end of the drive. As is general with driving, post-drive imagery was collected. The rover continued to head towards the gap on Sol 4479 (Aug. 29, 2016), with a 51 feet (15.4-meter) drive. Atmospheric opacity (tau) has increased due to regional dust storms. The elevated tau reduces the available solar energy, so the drive was not very long. On Sol 4480 (Aug. 30, 2016), Opportunity continued to drive further with only a 39 feet (11.8-meter) drive. A color Pancam panorama was collected of the feature, called 'Wharton Ridge.' As of Sol 4480 (Aug. 30, 2016), the solar array energy production is 453 watt-hours with an elevated atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 1.079 and a solar array dust factor of 0.693. Total odometry is 26.83 miles (43.18 kilometers).



sols 4466 - 4473, August 16, 2016 - August 23, 2016: Opportunity Continues to Study Grooves

Opportunity is wrapping up the exploration 'Marathon Valley' on the rim of Endeavour crater. The rover has found itself in an area where there are grooves carved in the rock outcrop suggestive of fluvial action. Opportunity continues to conduct a very extensive visual documentation campaign of these grooves. On Sol 4468 (Aug. 18, 2016), the rover bumped two meters to set up for taking short-baseline stereo imagery. In addition, a small rock dubbed 'Muffler II' was found in the robotic arm (IDD) workplane on Sol 4470 (Aug. 20, 2016), and targeted for Microscopic Imager (MI) and Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS). A further offset MI and APXS campaign was completed on Sol 4473 (Aug. 23, 2016). As of Sol 4473, the solar array energy production is 582 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.727 and a solar array dust factor of 0.710. Total odometry is 26.78 miles (43.10 kilometers).



sols 4458 - 4465, August 08, 2016 - August 15, 2016: Studying Grooves

Opportunity is wrapping up exploration of 'Marathon Valley' on the rim of Endeavour Crater. The rover has driven to an area were the rock outcrop has interesting grooves. The science team is using Opportunity to conduct an extensive visual documentation campaign at this area. The rover is collecting both short-baseline and long-baseline multi-spectral stereo image data with the Panoramic Camera (Pancam). On Sol 4459 (Aug. 9, 2016), Opportunity drove about 43 feet (13 meters) to the northwest to set up for the first station of the long-baseline stereo imaging. After several sols of imaging, the rover bumped about 16 feet (5 meters) north to set up for the second station of the long-baseline stereo imaging. Over the next few sols, Opportunity collected many more Pancam multi-spectral image frames. The science team is constructing a detailed digital elevation model of the terrain containing the grooves. As of Sol 4465 (Aug. 15, 2016), solar array energy production is 588 watt-hours, with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.638 and a solar array dust factor of 0.654. Total odometry as of Sol 4465 is 26.78 miles (43.10 kilometers).



sols 4452 - 4457, August 01, 2016 - August 07, 2016: Going Back for Closer Look at Interesting Grooves Seen in Images

Opportunity is wrapping up the exploration 'Marathon Valley' on the rim of Endeavour crater. On sol 4452 (Aug. 1, 2016), the high terrain walls of the valley prevented the low elevation Odyssey relay pass from returning any rover data. The team, aware of this, planned Opportunity's drive to the next sol. On Sol 4453 (Aug. 3, 2016), the rover bumped about 19 feet (6 meters) closer to an exposed outcrop, not before taking some more color Panoramic Camera (Pancam) panoramas of 'Gibraltar II'. Then, over the next two sols, Opportunity continued with more Pancam panoramas of Gibraltar II and an outcrop contact from the closer vantage. With the plan now to leave the north side of the valley, the rover headed southeast on Sol 4456 (Aug. 6, 2016), with a 102 feet (31-meter) drive. Mid-drive Pancam imaging was collected. After the drive, the mid-drive imaging showed interesting ridges or groves that the science team is very interested in going back to examine. As of Sol 4457 (Aug. 7, 2016), the solar array energy production is 607 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.706 and a solar array dust factor of 0.677. Total odometry is 26.77 miles (43.08 kilometers).



sols 4446 - 4451, July 26, 2016 - July 31, 2016: Getting Ready to Take a Panorama

Opportunity is wrapping up the exploration 'Marathon Valley' on the rim of Endeavour crater. The rover is now located on the north side of the valley in a position to conduct an extensive color panorama of the north wall (called 'Gibraltar II'), and the geologic contact with the valley floor. Over six consecutive sols beginning on Sol 4446 (July 26, 2016), Opportunity collected multiple mosaicked frames of the wall in color stereo. On the evening of Sol 4447 (July 27, 2016), the rover collected an atmospheric argon measurement with the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS). Whenever available downlink permitted, additional Flash bank readouts were performed. As of Sol 4451 (July 31, 2016), the solar array energy production is 592 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.671 and a solar array dust factor of 0.670. Total odometry is 26.75 miles (43.05 kilometers).



sols 4440 - 4445, July 20, 2016 - July 25, 2016: Opportunity Surpasses 43 Kilometers on the Odometer!

Black Cross 1 Strap Pumps FANIMILA Women Opportunity is wrapping up the exploration 'Marathon Valley' on the rim of Endeavour crater. The rover did experience an unexpected drive termination caused by the right-front wheel. On Sol 4440 (July 20, 2016), tests were performed on the wheels and the rover backed up 4 feet (1.3 meters). All tests were nominal. The project suspects it was a terrain interaction during a difficult turn in place for the rover. On Sol 4441 (July 21, 2016), Opportunity drove over 112 feet (34 meters) heading to the next waypoint. As is typical, post-drive Navigation Camera (Navcam) and Panoramic Camera (Pancam) panoramas were collected. A full 360-degree Navcam panorama was completed on the next sol along with targeted Pancam imagery. On Sol 4443 (July 23, 2016), the rover drove again, traveling almost 85 feet (26 meters), passing 26.72 miles (43 kilometers) of total odometry. More post-drive imagery was collected. A cloud movie was shot on the morning of Sol 4444 (July 24, 2015). On Sol 4445 (July 25, 2016), Opportunity drove another 108 feet (33 meters) heading closer to its waypoint. As of Sol 4445 (July 25, 2016), the solar array energy production is 605 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.599 and a solar array dust factor of 0.670. Total odometry is 26.75 miles (43.05 kilometers).



sols 4433 - 4439, July 13, 2016 - July 19, 2016: Active Science on Mars 40 Years After Viking

Opportunity is exploring "Marathon Valley" on the rim of Endeavour crater, investigating outcrops for evidence of clay minerals. The rover is nearing the completion of its exploration within Marathon Valley before departing. At the current location within the valley Opportunity has been collecting extensive Panoramic Camera (Pancam) color imagery of "Hinner's Point" on the north side of the valley. The rover is also near a rock, called 'Bashful.' In honor of the Viking mission 40th anniversary, the MER project is reusing some of the naming themes from Viking. On Sol 4436 (July 16, 2016), Opportunity completed the in-situ (contact) science of Bashful with a Microscopic Imager (MI) mosaic and a 1-cm offset placement of the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS). A successful 52-foot (16-meter) drive away from Bashful was performed on the next sol. On Sol 4438 (July 18, 2016), the plan was to continue driving. However, rover flight software stopped the drive just as the initial turn for the drive began. Evidence suggests that the terrain was causing excessive load on the right-front wheel. Being cautious, the project conducted a set of diagnostics on Sol 4439 (July 19, 2016). Preliminary analysis still points to a terrain effect, but more diagnostics are planned for Sol 4440 (July 20, 2016). The rover is otherwise in good health. As of Sol 4439 (July 19, 2016), the solar array energy production is 635 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.639 and a solar array dust factor of 0.715. Total odometry is 26.69 miles (42.95 kilometers), more than a marathon.



sols 4426 - 4432, July 06, 2016 - July 12, 2016: A Few Drives and Some Imaging Before Wrapping Up Work Within Marathon Valley

Opportunity is exploring 'Marathon Valley' on the rim of Endeavour crater, investigating outcrops for evidence of clay minerals. The rover is nearing the completion of its exploration within Marathon Valley. On Sol 4426 (July 6, 2016), Opportunity drove 51 feet (15.45 meters) to the northwest. As with each drive, the rover collects post-drive Navigation Camera (Navcam) panoramas to support the next drive. The rover used the next sol for a Flash bank readout and some targeted Panoramic Camera (Pancam) imagery. More targeted imagery was also collected over the next two sols. On Sol 4430 (July 10, 2016), Opportunity drove 27 feet (8.33 meters) towards a rock target of interest. More post-drive Navcam panoramas were collected. On Sol 4432 (July 12, 2016), the rover bumped every-so-slightly (~1 cm) to position for in-situ (contact) work on the rock target. As of Sol 4432 (July 12, 2016), the solar array energy production is 609.6 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.596 and a solar array dust factor of 0.718. Total odometry is 26.68 miles (42.94 kilometers), more than a marathon.



sols 4418 - 4425, June 28, 2016 - July 05, 2016: Wrapping up Studies in Marathon Valley

Opportunity is exploring Marathon Valley on the rim of Endeavour crater, investigating outcrops for evidence of clay minerals. The rover is nearing the completion of its exploration within Marathon Valley with investigations in the center of the valley. On Sol 4418 (June 28, 2016), the rover drove back to target 'York' to re-take the Pancam images that were lost during the Sol 4415 (June 25, 2016) relay pass. On Sol 4419 (June 29, 2016) Opportunity successfully took the image, but planners could not confirm this before the next planning session for Sols 4420-4422 (June 30, 2016 - July 2, 2016). Because of the importance of these images, rover planners decided to stay in place while they awaited confirmation that they were relayed back to Earth. In the meantime, Opportunity took images of the Rock Abrasion Tool (RAT) bit to assess its condition. After confirming receipt of the Pancam images of York, Opportunity drove back on Sol 4423 (July 3, 2016) to the northwest, toward the site dubbed 'The Mesa'. As of Sol 4425 (July 5, 2016), the solar array energy production is 644 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.551 and a solar array dust factor of 0.718. Total odometry as of Sol 4423 (July 3, 2016) is 26.6 miles, (42.91 kilometers), more than a marathon.



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sols 4413 - 4417, June 22, 2016 - June 27, 2016: Finishing Science Investigations at the Center of 'Marathon Valley'

Opportunity is exploring 'Marathon Valley' on the rim of Endeavour crater, investigating outcrops for evidence of clay minerals. The rover is nearing the completion of its exploration within Marathon Valley with investigations in the center of the valley. Opportunity is finishing one of its final in-situ campaigns inside the valley. On Sol 4413 (June 22, 2016), the rover continued with the investigation of the surface target 'York' with the collection of another set of Microscopic Imager (MI) mosaics followed by an offset placement of the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS). On the next sol, Opportunity continued with some targeted Panoramic Camera (Pancam) color imagery. With the in-situ (contact) work complete at 'York,' the rover drove away with a 118 feet (36-meter) drive to the northwest. Before leaving the target, Opportunity snapped some 13-filter Pancam imagery of the in-situ work site. However, due to relay bandwidth variability these Pancam images were not received on the ground. Other Pancam and Navigation Camera (Navcam) images of the north wall of Marathon Valley were collected and received. The project is considering a drive back to 'York' to re-take these high-value Pancam images of the surface target. As of Sol 4417 (June 27, 2016), the solar array energy production is 645.8 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.561 and a solar array dust factor of 0.725. Total odometry is 26.63 miles (42.85 kilometers), more than a marathon.



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sols 4406 - 4412, June 15, 2016 - June 21, 2016: Opportunity is on its Final Science Campaign at 'Marathon Valley'

Opportunity is exploring 'Marathon Valley' on the rim of Endeavour crater, investigating outcrops for evidence of clay minerals. The rover is nearing the completion of its investigation within Marathon Valley. Opportunity is engaged in one of its final big in-situ campaigns inside Marathon Valley. On Sol 4406 (June 15, 2016), the rover bumped about 10 inches (25 centimeters) to line up for some surface targets. On the following sol, Opportunity used the robotic arm to collect a Microscopic Imager (MI) mosaic of the target and then placed the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) for a multi-hour integration. Opportunity then on the next sol turned to line up with the next nearby target with a 17-inch (43-centimeter) bump. This was followed with a regular calibration of the MI with some 'sky flat' images. The rover used the next two sols to collect a 360-degree Navigation Camera panorama and to perform a 'sky flat' calibration of the Panoramic Camera. Then, on Sol 4411 (June 20, 2016), Opportunity collected a Microscopic Imager mosaic of this new target and followed that with the APXS placement. On Sol 4412 (June 21, 2016), Opportunity used the Rock Abrasion Tool (RAT) wire brush to brush clean that surface target and followed that with another MI mosaic and APXS placement and integration. The next step will be to consider a RAT grind of that target. As of Sol 4412 (June 21, 2016), the solar array energy production is 644 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.614 and a solar array dust factor of 0.721. Total odometry is 26.60 miles (42.81 kilometers), more than a marathon.



sols 4399 - 4405, June 08, 2016 - June 14, 2016: Opportunity Wraps up Work on 'Wheel Scuff'

Opportunity is exploring 'Marathon Valley' on the rim of Endeavour crater, investigating outcrops for evidence of clay minerals. The rover is close to completing its investigations within Marathon Valley. On Sol 4400 (June 9, 2016), Opportunity continued with the in-situ (contact) investigation of the area that was scuffed by the rover wheel. The rover collected a Microscopic Imager (MI) mosaic of the 'red pebble' target and then placed the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) on the same for a multi-hour integration. On Sols 4402 and 4403 (June 11 and 12), Opportunity performed a 2-sol plan each with MI imagery and further offset APXS placements to map out the elemental constituents of the target. On Sol 4404 (June 13, 2016), the rover bumped back, collected 13-filter images of the work area, then bumped further back, totaling 4.6 feet (1.4 meters). With the work complete at this site, Opportunity drove away on Sol 4405 (June 14, 2016), with a 62-feet (19-meter) drive heading towards the center of the area where a clay mineral signature has been observed from orbit. As of Sol 4405 (June 14, 2016), the solar array energy production is 658 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.645 and a solar array dust factor of 0.752. Total odometry is 26.60 miles (42.81 kilometers), more than a marathon.



sols 4392 - 4398, June 01, 2016 - June 07, 2016: Examining Pebbles Exposed by 'Wheel Scuff'

Opportunity is exploring 'Marathon Valley' on the rim of Endeavour crater, investigating outcrops for evidence of clay minerals. The rover is continuing to examine a previously trenched (scuffed) surface where distinct pebbles have become a focus of interest for the science team. On Sol 4392 (June 1, 2016), Opportunity continued the investigation of a 'yellow' pebble with an offset positioning of the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS). This pebble has exhibited an elevated sulfate composition. Offset APXS measurements allow the 'teasing out' of the elements associated with the pebble versus those in the background (soil). Over the next two sols, the APXS was allowed to integrate while the rover collected several multi-color panoramic images of the surroundings. On Sol 4395 (June 4, 2016), the rover performed another offset positioning of the APXS followed with a multi-hour integration. On the next sol, a Microscopic Imager (MI) mosaic was collected using the robotic arm and the APXS was offset again for yet another integration. On Sol 4398 (June 7, 2016), with the work complete on the 'yellow' pebble, the rover bumped about 4 inches (10 centimeters) to another pebble of interest for in-situ (contact) investigation over the coming sols. As of Sol 4398 (June 7, 2016), the solar array energy production is 637 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.597 and a solar array dust factor of 0.735. Total odometry is 26.59 miles (42.79 kilometers), more than a marathon.



sols 4385 - 4391, May 25, 2016 - May 31, 2016: Study of 'Wheel Scuff' Continues

Opportunity is exploring 'Marathon Valley' on the rim of Endeavour crater, investigating outcrops for evidence of clay minerals. The rover is continuing to examine a previously trenched (scuffed) surface. On Sol 4385 (May 25, 2016), Opportunity collected some more targeted Panoramic Camera (Pancam) 13-filter images and continued with an Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) integration on the surface target. Then, on Sol 4386 (May 26, 2016), Opportunity bumped ever so slightly (about 1 cm) in order to reach a particular yellow pebble in the trenched area. The rover collected more targeted 13-filter Pancam images. And then on Sol 4389 (May 29, 2016), Opportunity used the robotic arm (IDD) to collect a Microscopic Imager (MI) mosaic of the yellow pebble and to position the APXS just above the pebble (since it was too small to make a contact placement). More targeted color Pancam images have been collected over the subsequent sols. As of Sol 4391 (May 31, 2016), the solar array energy production is 643 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.566 and a solar array dust factor of 0.738. Total odometry is 26.59 miles (42.79 kilometers), more than a marathon.



sols 4378 - 4384, May 17, 2016 - May 24, 2016: Investigating the Soil Exposed with the Rover Wheel

Opportunity is exploring 'Marathon Valley' on the rim of Endeavour crater, inspecting specific outcrops for evidence of clay minerals. Previously, the rover used the left-front wheel to scuff a red vein feature to break up and expose its compositional material for further investigation. On Sol 4379 (May 18, 2016), Opportunity bumped 6 feet (1.75 meters) back towards the scuff to set up for an in-situ (contact) investigation of the scuffed material. The rover also collected some targeted Panoramic Camera (Pancam) 13-filter images and a Navigation Camera (Navcam) panorama. On Sol 4381 (May 21, 2016), Opportunity began the contact investigation using the robotic arm to collect a Microscopic Imager (MI) mosaic of the scuff and then place the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) on the same. On the next sol, the rover offset the APXS on the scuff by about 1 centimeter and performed another integration. Opportunity continued on the next sol with yet another APXS offset placement, more MI mosaics and some more targeted Pancam 13-filter imaging. As of Sol 4384 (May 24, 2016), the solar array energy production is 636 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.605 and a solar array dust factor of 0.756. Total odometry is 26.59 miles (42.79 kilometers), more than a marathon.



sols 4372 - 4377, May 11, 2016 - May 16, 2016: Opportunity Collects a Panorama and Uses Wheel to 'Scuff' the Soil for a Closer Look

Opportunity is exploring 'Marathon Valley' on the rim of Endeavour crater, searching specific outcrops for evidence of clay minerals. The rover is currently conducting an in-situ (contact) science investigation on an outcrop target, called 'Pierre Pinaut.' The rover has also been collecting a beautiful full-color panorama of the surrounding location. On Sol 4372 (May 11, 2016), Opportunity collected a Microscopic Imager (MI) mosaic of the target previously ground by the Rock Abrasion Tool (RAT). This was followed by the placement of the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) on the same. On the next sol, the RAT brush was used to clean the ground target of tailings and another MI mosaic was taken with another APXS placement. Following on the next sol, the APXS was offset just a half inch (1.25 centimeters) for another elemental integration. With the contact work complete, on Sol 4375 (May 14, 2016), Opportunity backed away and collected some Panoramic Camera (Pancam) color imagery of the target. On Sol 4377 (May 16, 2016), the rover used the left-front wheel to scuff a red vein feature to break up and expose its compositional material for further investigation. As of Sol 4377 (May 16, 2016), the solar array energy production is 672 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.542 and a solar array dust factor of 0.770. Total odometry is 26.59 miles (42.79 kilometers), more than a marathon.



sols 4365 - 4371, May 04, 2016 - May 10, 2016: Microscopic Imaging Camera on Robotic Arm Back to Normal Operations

Opportunity is exploring 'Marathon Valley' on the rim of Endeavour crater, searching specific outcrops for evidence of clay minerals. The rover is currently conducting an in-situ (contact) science investigation on an outcrop target dubbed 'Pierre Pinaut.' The imaging problems we were experiencing previously were traced to a sequencing error, and Opportunity has returned to normal operations as of the Sol 4367 (May 6, 2016), plan. In that plan we recaptured the Microscopic Image (MI) mosaic of the Rock Abrasion Tool (RAT) grind from Sol 4363 (May 2, 2016), and discovered that the grind had not gone deep enough. Therefore, a further grind (to a desired depth of 2-3 millimeters) was performed in the Sol 4370 (May 9, 2016), plan. This appears to have been successful and an MI mosaic of the new RAT hole is planned for Sol 4372 (May 11, 2016). In addition, multiple APXS integrations have been performed on both the previous and current RAT holes during this period. As of Sol 4371 (May 10, 2016), the solar array energy production is 653 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.458 and a solar array dust factor of 0.752. Total odometry is 26.58 miles (42.78 kilometers), more than a marathon.



sols 4358 - 4364, April 27 - May 3, 2016: Investigations on Microscopic Imaging Camera Continue

Opportunity is exploring Marathon Valley on the rim of Endeavour crater, searching specific outcrops for evidence of clay minerals. The rover is currently conducting an in-situ (contact) science investigation on an outcrop called "Pierre Pinaut". On Sol 4360 (April 29, 2016), after some Pancam color imaging and completing an Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) measurement on the outcrop, Opportunity used the Rock Abrasion Tool (RAT) on the robotic arm to brush clean the surface of the rock and placed the APXS back down again. On that same sol, another imaging command hung, or was not executed, but was cleared in the post sequence cleanup. On Sol 4361 (April 30, 2016), the robotic arm moved out of the way to allow clear imaging of the brushed surface with the Pancam color camera. Opportunity collected more Pancam color panoramas on the next sol. On Sol 4363 (May 2, 2016), the same brushed rock was now ground with the RAT to a depth of about 0.04 inches (1 millimeter) and the APXS placed back down again for a post-grind measurement. On Sol 4364 (May 3, 2016), another incomplete camera request prevented collecting Microscopic Images (MIs). Again the "stuck" image was cleared and operations continued with more Pancam panoramas. The project continues to investigate the camera hanging issue and has developed a process to clear the hung camera as soon as it occurs, allowing all subsequent imaging to proceed. As of Sol 4364 (May 2, 2016), the solar array energy production is 645 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.508 and a solar array dust factor of 0.774. Total odometry is 26.58 miles (42.78 kilometers), more than a marathon.



sols 4351 - 4357, April 20, 2016 - April 26, 2016: Camera on Robotic Arm Passes Diagnostic Test

Opportunity is exploring 'Marathon Valley' on the rim of Endeavour crater, trying to identify specific outcrops for evidence of clay minerals. The rover has been investigating the surface target, called 'Pierre Pinaut.' The rover experienced an anomalous camera fault on Sol 4350 (April 19, 2016), during a Microscopic Image (MI) mosaic, so the activities in that plan did not complete. Opportunity then performed two sets of diagnostics on Sol 4352 (April 21, 2016). The MI images completed normally and several Panoramic Camera (Pancam) panoramas taken before and after the MI camera anomaly completed normally. On Sol 4354 (April 23, 2016), the original MI activity using the robotic arm from Sol 4350 (April 19, 2016), was repeated successfully which included the placement of the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS). More Pancam panoramas were collected on the next sol. On Sol 4357 (April 26, 2016), the Rock Abrasion Tool (RAT) on the robotic arm was used to brush the surface target, followed by the placement of the APXS for a long integration. As of Sol 4357 (April 26, 2016), the solar array energy production is 618 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.541 and a solar array dust factor of 0.764. Total odometry is 26.58 miles (42.78 kilometers), more than a marathon.



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sols 4344 - 4350, April 13, 2016 - April 19, 2016: Rover Completes Mini-Walkabout

Opportunity is exploring 'Marathon Valley' located on the rim of Endeavour crater. The objective is to identify specific outcrops for evidence of clay minerals. Opportunity has completed a mini-'walkabout' with extensive imaging of the region and is now beginning the in-situ (contact) investigation. On Sol 4345 (April 14, 2016), the rover moved just about 8 feet (2.5 meters), approaching a target for investigation with the robotic arm instruments. On Sol 4347 (April 16, 2016), Opportunity used the robotic arm to collect a Microscopic Imager (MI) mosaic of the surface target, named 'Pierre Pinaut.' This was followed by the placement of the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) on the same target for a multi-hour integration. In between these activities, the rover continues to collect extensive Panoramic Color (Pancam) color panoramas, Navigation Camera (Navcam) panoramas and targeted multi-filter images. On Sol 4350 (April 19, 2016), Opportunity attempted to collect additional MI mosaics, but a goal error occurred because the first image with the MI camera did not complete. This is an anomaly that has seen before where a camera image fails to complete. The project is investigating this and is preparing diagnostics to run on the camera system. As of Sol 4350 (April 19, 2016), the solar array energy production is 635 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.461 and a solar array dust factor of 0.762. Total odometry is 26.58 miles (42.78 kilometers), more than a marathon.


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sols 4338 - 4343, April 06, 2016 - April 11, 2016: Rover Mini-Walkabout to Find Clay Mineral Continues

Opportunity is exploring the south side of 'Marathon Valley' located on the rim of Endeavour crater. The objective is to identify specific outcrops for evidence of clay minerals, so Opportunity is conducting a mini-'walkabout' in regions that show evidence for clay minerals seen from orbit. The plan is to quickly survey a large region with imagery and then identify surface targets of interest for further in-situ (contact) investigation. At each drive location on the walkabout, the rover collects extensive Navigation Camera (Navcam) and Panoramic Camera (Pancam) panoramas plus targeted multi-filter (color) Pancam panoramas. Energy levels have been very good, so the rover was able to stay up late and collect an atmospheric argon measurement with the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) on Sol 4338 (April 6, 2016), after spending the day collecting a multi-frame Pancam panorama. The previous few drives had indicated an elevation in the right-front wheel current. Some of that is explained by the steep terrain the rover is climbing. The team sequenced a set of 'cleat cams' (sub-framed Hazardous Camera images) of the front wheels on Sol 4339 (April 7, 2016), to make sure there were no small rocks that might be fouling the wheels. The wheels were found to be clear of any rocks. On Sol 4340 (April 8, 2016), a set of Microscopic Imager (MI) sky flats (calibration images) were collected using the robotic arm to point the MI up at the diffuse sky. More Pancam and Navcam panoramic imaging was collected at this location. On the next sol, Opportunity drove about 45 feet (13.7 meters) to the southwest to set up for the next imagining station. Over the next two sols the rover collected extensive Pancam and Navcam imagery. As of Sol 4343 (April 11, 2016), the solar array energy production is 617 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.459 and a solar array dust factor of 0.785. Total odometry is 26.58 miles (42.78 kilometers), more than a marathon.



sols 4331 - 4337, March 30, 2016 - April 05, 2016: Opportunity Captures Swirling Dust Devil at Endeavour Crater

Opportunity is exploring the south side of 'Marathon Valley' located on the rim of Endeavour crater. The rover is up on the slopes of 'Knudsen Ridge.' The objective is to identify specific outcrops for evidence of clay minerals. Opportunity is conducting a mini-'walkabout' in regions that show evidence for clay minerals observed from orbit. The plan is to quickly survey a large region with imagery and then identify surface targets of interest for further in-situ (contact) investigation. At each drive location on the walkabout, the rover collects a 360-degree Navigation Camera (Navcam) panorama plus targeted multi-filter (color) Panoramic Camera (Pancam) panoramas. On Sol 4332 (March 31, 2016), Opportunity captured a Navcam image of a spectacular dust devil out in the interior of Endeavour crater, a rare sighting for Opportunity in Meridiani. Also on that sol, an Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) performed a measurement of atmospheric argon. On the next sol, in addition to all the site survey imagery, the rover also collected documentary imagery of the Rock Abrasion Tool (RAT) bit to assess remaining grind capability. On Sol 4334 (April 2, 2016), the rover headed west with a 15.4-meter drive, collecting more Navcam and Pancam panoramas. On Sol 4337 (April 5, 2016) Opportunity turned southwest and drove about 15.5 meters in its walkabout with more imaging before and after the drive. As of Sol 4337 (April 5, 2016), the solar array energy production is 650 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.470 and a solar array dust factor of 0.817. Total odometry is 26.57 miles (42.77 kilometers), more than a marathon.



sols 4324 - 4330, March 23, 2016 - March 29, 2016: Climbing to Clay-Mineral Site Seen from Orbit

Opportunity is exploring the south side of 'Marathon Valley' located on the rim of Endeavour crater. The rover is up on the slopes of 'Knudsen Ridge.' The objective is to identify specific outcrops for evidence of clay minerals. Opportunity has been driving towards high-slope regions that show evidence for clay minerals observed from orbit. With each drive the rover has bee collected extensive pre-drive and post-drive Panoramic Camera (Pancam) and Navigation Camera (Navcam) panoramas to document the terrain. On Sol 4325 (March 24, 2016), Opportunity drove west intending to cover about 49 feet (15 meters), but only achieved about 22 feet (6.8 meters). Visual Odometry (VO), which is used to track the rover's progress and direction, had difficulty converging on the featureless terrain around the rover. Visual Odometry works by tracking local surface features in the terrain as the rover moves. Another drive was sequenced on Sol 4328 (March 27, 2016), for about 79 feet (24 meters), but again the drive stopped after only 55 feet (16.9 meters) again due to lack of VO convergence on the featureless terrain. More progress was made on the next sol with a 22-foot (6.6-meter) drive to the southwest and on Sol 4330 (March 29, 2016), with a 43-foot (12.9-meter) drive also to the southwest. Opportunity is now believed to be in the area of the clay minerals seen from orbit. The rover is documenting the terrain with extensive Pancam color (multi-filter) panoramas. Energy levels have also improved markedly, a combination of improving solar insolation with season and dust cleaning events on the solar arrays. As of Sol 4330 (March 29, 2016), the solar array energy production has increased to 650 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.589 and an improved solar array dust factor of 0.857 (although this number may be affected by atmospheric clouds). Total odometry is 26.55 miles (42.74 kilometers), more than a marathon.



sols 4317 - 4323, March 16, 2016 - March 22, 2016: Opportunity Moves to New Locations to the Southwest

Opportunity is exploring the south side of "Marathon Valley" located on the rim of Endeavour crater. The rover is up on the slopes of 'Knudsen Ridge." The objective is to identify specific outcrops for evidence of clay minerals. Opportunity recently backed down off of some of the steepest slopes of the mission and has begun the move to new locations to the southwest. Supporting Navigation Camera (Navcam) and Panoramic Camera (Pancam) images were collected on Sols 4318 and 4319 (March 17 and March 18, 2016), to identify future targets and drive paths. On Sol 4320 (March 19, 2016), the rover drove about 31 feet (9.5 meters) to the southwest towards areas of putative phyllosilicate clays. Again, supporting Navcam and Pancam panoramas were collected after the drive to set up for the next drive. On Sol 4323 (March 22, 2016), Opportunity headed due west about 41 feet (12.5 meters). An atmospheric argon measurement with the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) was sequenced for that evening. As of Sol 4323 (March 22, 2016), the solar array energy production was 576 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.423 and an improved solar array dust factor of 0.764. Total odometry is 26.53 miles (42.69 kilometers), more than a marathon.



sols 4311 - 4316, March 10, 2016 - March 15, 2016: Rover Goes Back Downhill

Opportunity is exploring within 'Marathon Valley' on the rim of Endeavour crater. The rover is up on the slopes of 'Knudsen Ridge.' The primary objective is to examine specific outcrop types for evidence of clay minerals. The current objective had been to reach the surface science target 'Pvt. Joseph Whitehouse' (named after a member of the Corps of Discovery). However, with slopes in excess of 30 degrees and some gravel terrain under the wheels, Opportunity was unable to reach the intended target. On Sol 4311 (March 10, 2016), the rover made only 3.5 inches (9 centimeters) of progress after almost 66 feet (20 meters) of commanded wheel motion. This was the third attempt to reach this very interesting target. In the end, the team decided to abandon this target and back away. On Sol 4313 (March 12, 2016), the rover backed down from this target with a 7-foot (2-meter) drive. Documentary imagery in both Navigation Cameras (Navcams) and Panoramic Cameras (Pancams) where collected. An overnight Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) measure of atmospheric argon was also collected. More readouts of Flash memory were performed. On Sol 4316 (March 15, 2016), the rover moved further downhill, driving about 22 feet (6.7 meters) north to set up for a longer drive towards the next science target along Knudsen Ridge. As of Sol 4316 (March 15, 2016), the solar array energy production was 559 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.524 and an improved solar array dust factor of 0.760. Total odometry is 26.51 miles (42.67 kilometers), more than a marathon.



sols 4304 - 4310, March 02, 2015 - March 09, 2016: Rover on Slippery Slopes

Opportunity is exploring within 'Marathon Valley' on the rim of Endeavour crater. The rover is up on the slopes of 'Knudsen Ridge.' On Sol 4303 (March 1, 2016), a 6-feet (1.9-meter) drive repositioned the rover for a better angle on 'Pvt. Joseph Whitehouse,' a small cobble named for a member of Lewis and Clark's Corps of Discovery. Post-drive imagery of the new position was then collected. Slippage from the steep slopes required another 4 feet (1.2 meter) drive on Sol 4304 (March 2, 2016). That drive also experienced significant slip but continued to make uphill progress toward the cobble. More local imagery was taken after the drive. The following Sol, a Panoramic Camera (Pancam) mosaic was taken of the Pvt. Joseph Whitehouse environs and the rover deck was imaged for dust monitoring. On Sol 4306 (March 4, 2016), missed frames from the Whitehouse mosaic were retaken. Another approach drive was attempted on Sol 4307 (March 6, 2016), but slip caused the drive to end prematurely. Afterwards post-drive imaging was taken. The following Sol additional frames of the Knudsen Ridge mosaic were taken. On Sol 4308 (March 7, 2016), more Navigation Camera (Navcam) images were taken of the immediate area and more images were taken of the deck for dust monitoring. Yet another drive was attempted on Sol 4309 (March 8, 2016), only to be terminated again by high tilts and slip. The following morning a Navcam cloud movie was taken and later Pancam multi-filter images of the foreground. That afternoon, more Pancam dust monitoring images were taken. As of Sol 4310 (March 9, 2016), the solar array energy production was 548 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.431 and a solar array dust factor of 0.716. Total odometry is 26.51 miles (42.66 kilometers), more than a marathon.



sols 4297 - 4303, February 24, 2016 - March 01, 2016: Seeking Clay Minerals on Steeper Slopes

Opportunity is exploring steep outcrops within Marathon Valley on the rim of Endeavour crater. The rover is up on the very steep slopes of 'Knudsen Ridge'. The objective is to examine specific outcrop types for evidence of clay minerals. On Sol 4297 (Feb. 24, 2016), the rover performed its first contact measurements of an exposed rock named 'Charles Caugee' (named for a member of the Corps of Discovery). At this site, Opportunity used her robotic arm to collect a Microscopic Imager (MI) mosaic and then place the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) on the same for a multi-hour integration. Opportunity collected Pancam and Navcam images on the following sol of the area around the rover. On Sol 4299 (Feb. 26, 2016) Opportunity bumped about 1 meter (3 feet) towards a target up a steep slope and took more images. Another bump up the slope by the rover on Sol 4302 (Feb. 29, 2016) brought the rover 1.9 meters (6.2 feet) closer towards the intended target, named 'Pvt. Joseph Whitehouse' (another member of the Corps of Discovery). As of Sol 4303 (March 1, 2016) the solar array energy production was 585 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.429 and an improved solar array dust factor of 0.736. Total odometry is 26.51 miles (42.66 kilometers) more than a marathon.



sols 4290 - 4296, February 17, 2016 - February 23, 2016: Pumps Black FANIMILA Strap Women Cross 1 Rover Begins Contact Science of Rock Target on 'Knudsen Ridge'

Opportunity is exploring 'Marathon Valley' on the rim of Endeavour crater. The rover is up on the very steep slopes of 'Knudsen Ridge.' Opportunity has begun the in-situ (contact) investigation of the current site. On Sol 4291 (Feb. 18, 2016), the rover bumped about 27 inches (68 centimeters) towards the first surface target, called 'Charles Caugee' (named for a member of the Corps of Discovery). After the successful bump, more documentary imagery was collected using both the Panoramic Camera (Pancam) and Navigation Camera (Navcam). Then, on Sol 4295 (Feb. 22, 2016), the robotic arm was used to collect a detailed Microscopic Imager (MI) mosaic. The plan ahead is to place the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) to collect elemental information about this target. As of Sol 4296 (Feb. 23, 2016), the solar array energy production was 543 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.409 and a solar array dust factor of 0.707. Total odometry is 26.51 miles (42.66 kilometers), more than a marathon.



sols 4283 - 4289, February 10, 2016 - February 16, 2016: Prepping for Slope Investigations

Opportunity is exploring 'Marathon Valley' on the rim of Endeavour crater. The rover is perched on the steep slopes of 'Knudsen Ridge'. For the past week, Opportunity has continued to collect extensive color Pancam panoramas of the location around the rover in preparation for in-situ (contact) investigation of the different rock units. On Sol 4284 (Feb. 11, 2016) Opportunity did not Deep Sleep, but just napped overnight so that engineers could collect battery information throughout that night. The rover is expected to 'bump' on Sol 4291 (Feb. 18, 2016) to the first of several targets. As of Sol 4289 (Feb. 16, 2016), the solar array energy production was 506 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.433 and a solar array dust factor of 0.677. Total odometry is 26.51 miles (42.66 kilometers), more than a marathon.



sols 4276 - 4282, February 03, 2016 - February 09, 2016: Taking Panoramic Views and Prepping for Science

Opportunity is exploring 'Marathon Valley' on the rim of Endeavour crater. The rover is up on very steep slopes to reach high-value science targets on 'Knudsen Ridge.' For the past week, Opportunity has been collecting extensive Pancam panoramas of the location all around Knudsen Ridge. One important purpose is to collect detailed imagery of the surface targets that the rover will approach next for detailed in-situ (contact) investigation. As of Sol 4282 (Feb. 9, 2016), the solar array energy production was 493 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.443 and a solar array dust factor of 0.675. Total odometry is 26.51 miles (42.66 kilometers), more than a marathon.



sols 4269 - 4275, January 26, 2016 - February 02, 2016: Climbing Steeper Slopes to Reach Science Targets

Opportunity is exploring 'Marathon Valley' on the rim of Endeavour crater. The rover is climbing up steep slopes to reach high-value science targets up on 'Knudsen Ridge.' Opportunity performed the first of two steep climbs on Sol 4269 (Jan. 26, 2016), with just less than 16 feet (5 meters) for progress on slopes nearing 30 degrees. On the next sol, the rover ascended further up slope about 14 feet (4.4 meters) reaching tilts just under 30 degrees. For the next fives sols Opportunity conducted extensive Navigation Camera (Navcam) and Panoramic Camera (Pancam) imaging surveys of the potential rock targets and ridge outcrop in front of the rover in preparation for extensive in-situ (contact) science campaigns on the geologic units high up on this ridge line. As of Sol 4275 (Feb. 2, 2016), the solar array energy production was 498 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.459 and a solar array dust factor of 0.683. Total odometry is 26.51 miles (42.66 kilometers), more than a marathon.



sols 4263 - 4268, January 20, 2016 - January 25, 2016: Opportunity Reaches 12 Years on Mars!

Opportunity is exploring 'Marathon Valley' on the rim of Endeavour crater. The rover is up on north-facing slopes for improved solar array energy production. The rover is conducting an in-situ (contact) science campaign on the surface target 'Joseph Collin' (informally named for members of the Lewis and Clark expedition). The target appears as a curious, unconsolidated pile of coarse, dark grains. On Sol 4263 (Jan. 20, 2016), Opportunity began two sols of investigation using the robotic arm instruments. On each sol, extensive Microscopic Imager (MI) mosaics were collected. Each was followed with a unique placement of the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) for elemental identification. Over the next 3 days (sols), the rover attitude was updated and a series of Panoramic Camera (Pancam) and Navigation Camera (Navcam) panoramas were collected. On Sol 4268 (Jan. 25, 2016), the final work on this in-situ target was completed with the raising of the robotic arm off the target and the collection of some documentary imagery. The rover is now set to drive away from this site towards new targets up-slope from the current location. As of Sol 4268 (Jan. 25, 2016), the solar array energy production was 469 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.478 and a solar array dust factor of 0.691. Total odometry is 26.50 miles (42.65 kilometers), more than a marathon.



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sols 4256 - 4262, January 13, 2016 - January 19, 2016: Rock Abrasion Tool Conducts Two Rock Grinds

Opportunity is inside 'Marathon Valley,' up on north-facing slopes for improved solar array energy production. The rover is conducting an in-situ (contact) science campaign on the surface target 'Pvt. John Potts' (informally named for members of the Lewis and Clark expedition). Previously, Opportunity had performed two successful Rock Abrasion Tool (RAT) grinds on this target totaling over 1 millimeter of grind depth. On Sol 4257 (Jan. 14, 2016), the rover used the RAT again to grind another millimeter. With the grinding complete, the RAT brushed the target on Sol 4259 (Jan. 16, 2016), sweeping away the grind tailings. Then, a Microscopic Imager (MI) mosaic was collected followed with the placement of the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) inside the ground target. Also during this time, the rover continued collecting color Panoramic (Pancam) images of 'Knudsen Ridge' to form a large panorama mosaic of the valley ridge. With the in-situ work now complete on this target, on Sol 4262 (Jan. 19, 2016), the rover bumped only 2 inches (5 centimeters) to position for another target for in-situ investigation. As of Sol 4262 (Jan. 19, 2016), the solar array energy production was 454 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.471 and a solar array dust factor of 0.670. Total odometry is 26.50 miles (42.65 kilometers), more than a marathon.



sols 4247 - 4255, January 04, 2016 - January 12, 2016: Rover Uses Rock Abrasion Tool to Grind Rocks

Opportunity is inside 'Marathon Valley' on north-facing slopes for improved solar array energy production. The rover is engaged in an in-situ (contact) science campaign investigating the surface target 'Pvt. John Potts' (informally named for members of the Lewis and Clark expedition). Opportunity is performing successive grinds into the target to prepare a clean surface for elemental analysis by the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS). An initial grid by the Rock Abrasion Tool (RAT) had been previously completed, so a survey of the grind was performed on Sol 4248 (Jan. 5, 2016), with the Microscopic Imager (MI) with an initial analysis with the APXS. Color Pancam panoramas of various targets were collected on Sols 4249 and 4250 (Jan. 6 and 7, 2016). On Sol 4253 (Jan. 10, 2016), a seek scan with the RAT bit was performed in setup to another RAT grind on a subsequent sol. On Sol 4255 (Jan. 12, 2016), two steps of a deeper grind were performed on the target. The RAT was left in place so even deeper grinding could be performed later. As of Sol 4255 (Jan. 12, 2016), the solar array energy production was 452 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.446 and an improved solar array dust factor of 0.666. Total odometry is 26.50 miles (42.65 kilometers), more than a marathon.



sols 4229 - 4246, December 16, 2015 - January 03, 2016: Opportunity Welcomes Winter Solstice

Opportunity is inside 'Marathon Valley' on the west rim of Endeavour Crater. The rover is positioned on steep, north-facing slopes for improved solar array energy production. The winter solstice occurred on Sol 4246 (Jan. 3, 2016), although solar insolation already started to improve. The near-term objective is to position the rover to be able to grind a high-value surface target with the Rock Abrasion Tool (RAT). This target may hold some of the clues as to the origin of the clay spectral signature detected in Marathon Valley. On Sol 4229 (Dec. 16, 2015), Opportunity bumped about 14 inches (35 centimeters) to set up for an extended in-situ (contact) science campaign through the holiday season. Over the holiday period, Opportunity proceeded to use the robotic arm to collect Microscopic Imager (MI) mosaics of the surface targets as well as place the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) for surface elemental analysis. Winter power levels and late Odyssey passes made planning difficult with some sols being used as recharge days. On Sol 4234 (Dec. 22, 2015), Opportunity was able to use the RAT to brush the surface target 'Pvt. John Potts.' This was followed with more MI mosaics and APXS measurements. On Sol 4244 (Jan. 1, 2016), the RAT was used again, this time to grind (1 millimeter) into the surface target. More MI mosaics and APXS elemental analysis of the ground target followed. As of Sol 4246 (Jan. 3, 2016), the solar array energy production was 449 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.414 and an improved solar array dust factor of 0.658. Total odometry is 26.50 miles (42.65 kilometers), more than a marathon.



sols 4222 - 4228, December 9, 2015 - December 15, 2015: Rover On Steeper Slopes

Opportunity is inside "Marathon Valley" on the west rim of Endeavour Crater. The rover is positioned on steep slopes for improved solar array energy production. The near-term object is to position the rover to be able to grind a high-value surface target with the Rock Abrasion Tool (RAT). This target may hold some of the clues as to the origin of the clay spectral signature detected in Marathon Valley. On Sol 4222 (Dec. 9, 2015), Opportunity bumped back about 12 feet (3.65 meters) to set up for an approach to this target on a very steep slope. On the next sol, the rover bumped forward about 28 inches (70 centimeters), but because of the steep slopes the drive stopped as wheel currents exceeded protective set points for this steep terrain. A second attempt was made on the next sol to approach this same target. Again the steep terrain caused the drive to stop after only 3.6 feet (1.1 meters) of wheel motion. Slips as high as 50 percent (not uncommon for this steep terrain) were seen on the last drive step. The rover used the next sol to perform a robotic arm salute to allow unobstructed imagery in front of the rover. Then on Sol 4227 (Dec. 14, 2015), Opportunity backed down slope about 10 feet (3 meters), collecting both pre-drive and post-drive imagery. On the next sol, the rover drove about 14 feet (4.4 meters) to approach the target from a more lateral direction. An approach bump is planned for the next sol. As of Sol 4221 (Dec. 8, 2015), the solar array energy production was 407 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.438 and an improved solar array dust factor of 0.660. Total odometry is 26.50 miles (42.65 kilometers), more than a marathon.



sols 4215 - 4221, December 2, 2015 - December 8, 2015: A Week of Robotic Arm Activities

Opportunity is inside "Marathon Valley" on the west rim of Endeavour Crater. The rover is positioned on a steep slope with an approximately 19-degree northerly tilt for improved solar array energy production. On Sol 4215 (Dec. 2, 2015), the robotic arm was used to collect imaging of the Rock Abrasion Tool (RAT) bit. That imagery will allow the assessment of remaining grind bit life before the next RAT grind. Also, with the robotic arm out of the way, unobstructed Panoramic Camera (Pancam) images of the surface target, "Pvt. Hugh McNeal" were taken. Finally, the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) was placed on the surface target by the robotic arm for the next sol's integration. More Pancam imagery was collected over subsequent sols. On Sol 4219 (Dec. 6, 2015), the RAT was used to brush the surface target and then the APXS was placed, slight offset, on the surface target. On Sol 4220 (Dec. 7, 2015), another tuck of the robotic arm was done to allow unobstructed images of the surface to be taken. Then, the Microscopic Imager (MI) was used to collect a detailed surface mosaic, followed by the placement of the APXS for a short integration. On the next sol, another MI mosaic was collected and more color Pancam panoramas were taken. As of Sol 4221 (Dec. 8, 2015), the solar array energy production was 419 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.430 and an improved solar array dust factor of 0.660. Total odometry is 26.49 miles (42.63 kilometers), more than a marathon.



sols 4202 - 4214, November 19, 2015 - December 01, 2015: Arm Raised to Take in the View

Opportunity is inside 'Marathon Valley' on the west rim of Endeavour Crater. The rover is positioned on steep, north-facing slopes for improved solar array energy production. On Sol 4202 (Nov. 19. 2105), the robotic arm was raised so Panoramic Camera (Pancam) color images could be collected without an obstructed view of the foreground. On Sol 4206 (Nov. 23, 2015), a small bump of less than 3 feet (a meter) was performed to position some surface targets within the work volume of the robotic arm. Additional Flash bank readouts were performed to support the Flash memory diagnostics. On subsequent sols, both Navigation Camera (Navcam) and Pancam imagery were collected. On Sol 4211 (Nov. 28, 2015), the robotic arm was used to collect a Microscopic Imager (MI) mosaic of the surface target, named 'Pvt. Hugh McNeal.' This was followed with the placing of the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) on the same for multi-sol integration. As of Sol 4214 (Dec. 1, 2015), the solar array energy production was 387 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.544 and a solar array dust factor of 0.643. Total odometry is 26.49 miles (42.63 kilometers), more than a marathon.



sols 4194 - 4201, November 10, 2015 - November 18, 2015: Women Cross Strap Pumps 1 FANIMILA Black Returning to RAM

Opportunity is within 'Marathon Valley' on the west rim of Endeavour Crater. After several sols of operating using Flash storage, the rover switched to using just RAM during Sol 4194 (Nov. 10, 2015), in order to safely use the robotic arm. The Microscopic Imager (MI) collected a mosaic of the surface target, 'Pvt. Ebenezer Tuttle' which was followed by the placement of the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) for several sols on integration. On Sol 4195 (Nov. 11, 2015), Opportunity switched back to using Flash memory in order to recover many important science data products still stored in the Flash memory. A reset of the vehicle occurred on Sol 4196 (Nov. 12, 2015), but was quickly recovered to master sequence control by the ground team. On Sol 4200 (Nov. 17, 2015), the rover was configured back to using RAM only. A 43-foot (13-meter) drive to a new location with steeper north-facing slopes was performed on that sol. As of Sol 4201 (Nov. 18, 2015), the solar array energy production was 376 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.494 and a solar array dust factor of 0.612. Total odometry is 26.49 miles (42.63 kilometers), more than a marathon.



sols 4188 - 4193, November 04, 2015 - November 09, 2015: Opportunity Dips Back Into Flash

Opportunity is within 'Marathon Valley' on the west rim of Endeavour Crater. The rover has been switched to using Flash again. The plan for this week is to return some high-value science data products stored in Flash memory. On Sol 4188 (Nov. 4, 2015), an atmospheric argon measurement was collected using the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer. On Sol 4189 (Nov. 5, 2015), a problem with the Deep Space Network station transmitter prevented our sequence plan from being sent to the rover. Independently on that sol, Opportunity experienced a reset, not unexpected since Flash memory was enabled. New sequences and a recovery plan were sent to the rover on Sol 4190 (Nov. 6, 2015). But a timing error prevented the master sequence from starting. A team came in over the weekend and built a real-time sequence activation command that was sent on Sol 4191 (Nov. 7, 2015), restoring the rover to master sequence operation. As of Sol 4193 (Nov. 9, 2015), the solar array energy production was 359 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.511 and a solar array dust factor of 0.609. Total odometry is 26.48 miles (42.62 kilometers), more than a marathon.



sols 4181 - 4187, October 28, 2015 - November 03, 2015: Just In Time For Halloween, A Network Problem And An Amnesia Event Slows Down Robotic Arm Work

Opportunity is within 'Marathon Valley' on the west rim of Endeavour Crater. The plan ahead was for Opportunity to use the robotic arm to place the Alpha Particle X-ray spectrometer down on a target for a week while the project conducted a weeklong test and readout of Flash memory. However, a Deep Space Network problem prevented the rover's plan from being radiated, so the rover executed run out plans on Sols 4184 and 4185 (Oct. 31 and Nov. 1, 2015). On Sol 4186 (Nov. 2, 2015), commands were sent to the rover to enable the use of Flash memory and to spend the week returning science data already in Flash memory. Although those commands were successful, the rover experienced an amnesia event on Sol 4186 (Nov. 2, 2015). As contingency, Flash Bank 7 readouts were performed instead. On Sol 4187 (Nov. 3, 2015), the rover successfully mounted Flash and began the return of the science data. The plan for the balance of the week is to continue with the return of science data from Flash. As of Sol 4187 (Nov. 3, 2015), the solar array energy production was 344 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.472 and a solar array dust factor of 0.574. Total odometry is 26.48 miles (42.62 kilometers), more than a marathon.



sols 4174 - 4180, October 21, 2015 - October 27, 2015: A Week of Imaging From South Side of Valley

Opportunity is within 'Marathon Valley' on the west rim of Endeavour Crater conducting a valley floor survey for clay minerals. From a location on the south side of the valley, the rover has been conducting a campaign of Panoramic (Pancam) Camera color imaging of Marathon Valley with panorama frames collected on Sols 4175, 4177 and 4180 (Oct. 22, Oct. 24 and Oct. 27, 2015). The rover has also been conducting an in-situ (contact) science campaign at the current location. On Sols 4175, 4177 and 4180, using the robotic arm, Opportunity collected a 2x2 Microscopic Imager (MI) mosaic followed by the placement of the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) on a different surface target. On Sols 4177, 4178 and 4179 (Oct. 24, Oct. 25 and Oct. 26, 2015), additional readouts of Flash Bank 7 were performed. As of Sol 4180 (Oct. 27, 2015), the solar array energy production was 332 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.539 and a solar array dust factor of 0.576. Total odometry is 26.48 miles (42.62 kilometers), more than a marathon.



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sols 4168 - 4173, October 15, 2015 - October 20, 2015: Power Levels Low Due to Winter Setting In

Opportunity is within 'Marathon Valley' on the west rim of Endeavour Crater conducting a valley floor survey for clay minerals. Low-elevation orbiter relay passes to the west continue to result in little to no data return on some relay passes. This is just a function of orbit geometry and the high valley wall to the west within Marathon Valley. From a location on the south side of the valley, the rover has been conducting a campaign of Panoramic (Pancam) Camera color imaging of Marathon Valley with panoramas collected on Sols 4169, 4171 and 4173 (Oct. 16, Oct. 18 and Oct. 20, 2015). A salute (raise) of the robotic arm on Sol 4173 (Oct. 20, 2015) was performed so the rover's work volume for the arm could be imaged ahead on an in-situ (contact) science activities. Further readouts of Flash Bank 7 were attempted on Sol 4170 (Oct. 17, 2015). The rover's activities are being constrained by the winter power levels. Opportunity will remain on north-facing slopes for the balance of the winter. As of Sol 4173 (Oct. 20, 2015), the solar array energy production was 337 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.522 and a solar array dust factor of 0.568. Total odometry is 26.48 miles (42.62 kilometers), more than a marathon.



sols 4162 - 4167, October 09, 2015 - October 14, 2015: The Rover Is Now On North-Facing Slopes To Charge The Solar Panels For The Winter

Opportunity is within 'Marathon Valley' on the west rim of Endeavour Crater completing a valley floor survey for clay minerals before moving to the winter location on the south side of the valley. Low-elevation orbiter relay passes to the west have resulted in little to no data return on some relay passes. This is a function of orbit geometry and the high valley wall to the west within Marathon Valley. On Sol 4163 (Oct. 10, 2015), Opportunity drove over 33 feet (10 meters) in a dogleg maneuver, first north then east, avoiding some terrain obstacles. The rover collected some mid-drive images of the departed location to assist analysis of some wheel/terrain interaction during the last turn in place. On the next sol, the rover collected both Panoramic Camera (Pancam) and Navigation Camera (Navcam) panoramas and continued with the diagnostic readout of Flash Bank 7. More Pancam panoramas were taken on the sol after that. On Sol 4166 (Oct. 13, 2015), Opportunity drove again, this time about 66 feet (20 meters) to the southeast. Afterward, more Pancam and Navcam panoramas where collected. The rover is now on some favorable northerly tilted terrain. Opportunity will remain on northerly slopes for the balance of the winter. As of Sol 4166 (Oct. 13, 2015), the solar array energy production was 325 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.557 and a solar array dust factor of 0.577. Total odometry is 26.48 miles (42.62 kilometers), more than a marathon.



sols 4154 - 4161, September 30, 2015 - October 07, 2015: Opportunity Doing Work at 'Marathon Valley' Before Moving to Winter Location

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Opportunity is within 'Marathon Valley' on the west rim of Endeavour Crater conducting a valley floor survey for clay minerals before moving to the winter location on the south side of the valley. The rover just completed a 9-sol test using the Flash file system on Sol 4155 (Oct. 1, 2015). On Sol 4154 (Sept. 30, 2015), a Flash-related reset prevented the rover from driving that sol. On Sol 4155 (Oct. 1, 2015), the rover returned to RAM-only mode (no Flash for storage) and the drive originally planned for the previous sol successfully completed on this sol achieving 28 feet (8.5 meters). Post-drive Navigation (Navcam) Camera panoramas were collected. On the next sol, a targeted color Panoramic (Pancam) Camera panorama was collected. On Sol 4157 (Oct. 3, 2015), Opportunity drove again, performing a dog-leg maneuver to avoid some obstacles. More color Pancam panoramas were collected. This was followed on the next sol with more Navcam panoramas. On Sol 4159 (Oct. 5, 2015), the rover moved again toward the east, traveling over 48 feet (14.5 meters). As with the other recent drives, pre- and post-drive Pancam and Navcam panoramas were collected. As of Sol 4161 (Oct. 7, 2015), the solar array energy production was 327 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.553 and a solar array dust factor of 0.569. Total odometry is 26.46 miles (42.59 kilometers), more than a marathon.



sols 4147 - 4153, September 23, 2015 - September 29, 2015: Rover Back to Normal Operations After Vehicle Reset Due to Flash System

Opportunity is within 'Marathon Valley' on the west rim of Endeavour Crater conducting a walk-about survey for clay minerals before moving to the winter location on the south side of the valley. The rover has been operating with its Flash file system in order to assess its current health and usability for data storage. Sols 4147 and 4148 (Sept. 23 & Sept. 24, 2015), plans contained remote sensing panoramas by both the Panoramic (Pancam) Camera and Navigation (Navcam) Camera. On Sol 4149 (Sept. 25, 2015), a vehicle reset occurred, stopping all on board sequences. Further, the Pancam Mast Assembly (PMA) was flagged with its position unknown, likely a result of imaging when the reset occurred. The suspected cause of the reset is the Flash system. Because of this reset, the plans for Sols 4150 and 4151 (Sept. 26 & Sept. 27, 2015) were not uplinked. The rover was restored to master sequence control on Sol 4152 (Sept. 28, 2015). On that sol, the rover drove about 39 feet (12 meters) and collected post-drive panoramas. A Flash-related amnesia event prevented the downlink of the drive results until Sol 4153 (Sept. 29, 2015). Another drive is planned for the next sol with the rover continuing to use Flash for storage. As of Sol 4153 (Sept. 29, 2015), the solar array energy production was 352 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.555 and a solar array dust factor of 0.557. Total odometry is 26.44 miles (42.55 kilometers), more than a marathon.



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sols 4140 - 4146, September 16, 2015 - September 22, 2015: Rover's Current Location Makes Communications a Challenge

Opportunity is within 'Marathon Valley' on the west rim of Endeavour Crater conducting a walk-about survey for clay minerals. The rover's current location within Marathon Valley with its high walls to the north and west presents a challenge for low-elevation Ultra-High-Frequency (UHF) relay passes to the west. On Sol 4141 (Sept. 17, 2015), no data were received as the orbiter's flight path was below the elevation on the valley ridgeline. On that sol, the rover did successfully perform an in-situ science campaign on the surface target, 'Pvt. George Gibson' that included a Microscopic Imager (MI) mosaic and the placement of the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS). Some of those data were received on subsequent sols. On Sol 4144 (Sept. 20, 2015), another MI mosaic was taken and the robotic armed stowed for a future drive. Once again, the high ridgeline of the valley obscured the low-elevation pass on Sol 4145 (Sept. 21, 2015), and little data were received. On Sol 4146 (Sept. 22, 2015), Opportunity was configured from RAM-only operation to Flash as a planned test of the non-volatile storage system. The drive on that sol completed successfully, but an amnesia event with Flash prevented a return of drive-related data on that sol. Those data are expected to be received on subsequent sols. The plan forward is to continue to operate in Flash for one week in order to gain information and statistics on the state of the Flash storage system. As of Sol 4146 (Sept. 22, 2015), the solar array energy production was 335 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.539 and a solar array dust factor of 0.569. Total odometry is (26.43 miles) 42.53 kilometers, more than a marathon.



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sols 4133 - 4139, September 09, 2015 - September 15, 2015: Search for Clay Minerals Continues

Opportunity is within 'Marathon Valley' on the west rim of Endeavour Crater conducting a walk-about in search of clay minerals. The rover is operating in persistent RAM mode (not using Flash for data storage). On Sol 4133 (Sept. 9, 2015), the rover used the robotic arm to collect a Microscopic Imager (MI) mosaic of a surface target and then place the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) on the same. A Navigation Camera (Navcam) panorama was collected on the morning of the next sol. The APXS integrated on the surface target through the evening of Sol 4135 (Sept. 11, 2015). On Sol 4136 (Sept. 12, 2015), another MI mosaic was collected and the APXS placed on a target offset from the previous. Both Navcam and Pancam panoramas were collected on the morning of Sol 4138 (Sept. 14, 2015). Also on that sol, the project commanded the rover to switch to using the Flash memory as a 'toe dip' diagnostic test of the state of Flash. With the exception of a benign amnesia event, the Flash functioned normally. The project then commanded the rover back into RAM-only mode on Sol 4139 (Sept. 15, 2015). A long test of Flash memory is planned for next week. Also on Sol 4139 (Sept. 15, 2015), the rover completed a 13-foot (4-meter) bumped to a new surface target. As of Sol 4139 (Sept. 15, 2015), the solar array energy production was 345 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.585 and a solar array dust factor of 0.552. Total odometry is 26.43 miles (42.53 kilometers), more than a marathon.



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sols 4126 - 4133, September 02, 2015 - September 09, 2015: Team Continues to Operate Rover in RAM Mode

Opportunity is within 'Marathon Valley' on the west rim of Endeavour Crater exploring for clay minerals. The rover is operating in persistent RAM mode (not using Flash for data storage). On Sol 4127 (Sept. 3, 2015), Opportunity bumped just 26 inches (65 centimeters) towards the surface target, 'Pvt. Silas Goodrich' to begin an in-situ (contact) science campaign. On Sols 4130 and 4131 (Sept. 6 and Sept. 7, 2015), the rover conducted a 2-sol robotic arm activity. On the first sol, the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) was placed on the target for an overnight integration. On the second sol, the Microscopic Imager (MI) was used to collect an extensive mosaic of the surface target. Flash Bank 7 continues to be readout and downlink as part of the ongoing diagnostics investigation of Flash memory. Other than Flash, Opportunity is in good health. As of Sol 4133 (Sept. 9, 2015), the solar array energy production was 356 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.631 and a solar array dust factor of 0.562. Total odometry is (26.42 miles) 42.52 kilometers, more than a marathon.



sols 4120 - 4125, August 26, 2015 - September 01, 2015: Driving West To Reach New Rock Target

Opportunity is within 'Marathon Valley' on the west rim of Endeavour Crater exploring for phyllosilicate clay minerals. The rover is operating in persistent RAM mode (not using Flash for data storage). On Sol 4120 (Aug. 26, 2015), Opportunity used the Rock Abrasion Tool (RAT) to brush the freshly ground surface target, 'Pvt. Robert Frazer' to prepare it for in-situ (contact) measurements. After the surface was cleaned, the Microscopic Imager collected an image mosaic. This was followed by the placement of the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS). The APXS integration was performed on the evening of the next sol. Both Panoramic Camera (Pancam) and Navigation Camera (Navcam) panoramas were sequenced over several sols along with additional readouts of Flash Bank 7 memory. On Sol 4125 (Sept. 1, 2015), the rover drove to the west about 46 feet (14 meters) in order to approach a new geological contact that may exhibit characteristics of alternation. As of Sol 4125 (Sept. 1, 2015), the solar array energy production was 384 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.668 and a solar array dust factor of 0.582. Total odometry is 26.42 (42.52 kilometers), more than a marathon.



sols 4113 - 4119, August 19, 2015 - August 25, 2015: Brushing a Rock and In-Situ Studies

Opportunity is in 'Marathon Valley' on the west rim of Endeavour Crater exploring for phyllosilicate clay minerals. The rover is operating in persistent RAM mode (not using Flash for data storage). The rover is in the midst of a grind campaign on the surface target, 'Pvt. Robert Frazer.' On Sol 4114 (Aug. 20, 2015), Opportunity ground about 2.5 millimeters into the surface to expose fresh outcrop using the Rock Abrasion Tool (RAT) on the end of the robotic arm. This was to be followed on the next sol by a brushing to remove the grind tailings from the surface site. But, a sequencing error prevented the RAT from initiating the brush activity. The project diagnosed the problem on the Surface System Testbed (SSTB) rover at JPL and confirmed the corrective action. Meanwhile, the rover continued the remote sensing of the valley with several Panoramic Camera (Pancam) panoramas collected of the North Wall of Marathon Valley plus some 13-filter Pancam images of selected surface targets. An Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer APXS measurement of atmospheric argon was collected on the evening of Sol 4116 (Aug. 22, 2015). The plan ahead is to complete the brushing of the freshly ground surface target for detailed in-situ (contact) measurements. As of Sol 4119 (Aug. 25, 2015), the solar array energy production was 404 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.652 and a solar array dust factor of 0.590. Total odometry is 26.41 miles (42.51 kilometers), more than a marathon.



sols 4106 - 4112, August 12, 2015 - August 18, 2015: Clay-Mineral Rocks Get Closer Inspection

Opportunity is in 'Marathon Valley' on the west rim of Endeavour Crater exploring for phyllosilicate clay minerals. The rover is operating in persistent RAM mode (not using Flash for data storage). Winter power levels have been constraining some rover activities. The rover is conducting both an in-situ (contact) science investigation of a surface target within the central unit of the valley and a Panoramic Camera (Pancam) panorama survey of the North Wall of the valley. On Sol 4107 (August 13, 2015), Opportunity used the Rock Abrasion Tool (RAT) to brush a surface target. This was followed by the collection of a Microscopic Imager (MI) mosaic and an Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) placement on the same. On Sol 4110 (August 16, 2015), the rover continued with more MI mosaics of the target and an offset placement of the APXS for a multi-hour integration. Further Pancam images of the North Wall were taken. On Sol 4111 (August 17, 2015), the RAT was used to grind 1 millimeter into the surface rock unit. Documentary MI imagery was taken and the APXS placed again. Some diagnostic readouts of Flash memory Bank 7 were performed. Additional readouts will be done on subsequent sols. On Sol 4112 (August 18, 2015), a complete MI mosaic was collected of the RAT grind was made along with another APXS placement. Deeper grinding is expected in the coming sols. Other than the Flash, Opportunity is in good health. As of Sol 4112 (August 18, 2015), the solar array energy production was 416 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.650 and a solar array dust factor of 0.597. Total odometry is 26.41 miles (42.51 kilometers), more than a marathon.



sols 4099 - 4105, August 05, 2015 - August 11, 2015: The Challenges of RAM Mode

Opportunity is in Marathon Valley on the west rim of Endeavour Crater exploring for clay minerals. The rover is operating in persistent RAM mode (not using Flash memory for data storage). In RAM mode, it is sometimes challenging to collect images at the right time of day to send them back to Earth via the orbital relay passes. On Sol 4099 (August 5, 2015), Pancam images were taken of the North Wall within Marathon Valley. On Sol 4100 (August 6, 2015) the robotic arm was used to conduct contact science on a surface target. The Microscopic Imager (MI) collected a mosaic and then the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) was placed for a multi-hour integration. Navcam panoramas are also being collected from this site. On Sol 4102 (August 8, 2015), another set of MI images along with an offset placement of the APXS were performed. The APXS integration was sequenced on the next sol. On Sol 4104 (August 10, 2015), more Pancam images of the North Wall were taken. Then on Sol 4105 (August 11, 2015), Opportunity turned just slightly more than 1.5 degrees using a tank turn to allow the robotic arm to reach an exposed outcrop that will be brushed by the Rock Abrasion Tool (RAT) on a subsequent sol. Other than the Flash, Opportunity is in good health. As of Sol 4105 (August 11, 2015), the solar array energy production was 420 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.736 and a solar array dust factor of 0.608. Total odometry is 26.41 miles (42.51 kilometers) more than a marathon.



sols 4094 - 4098, July 31, 2015 - August 04, 2015: Looking Forward to Contact Science in 'Marathon Valley'

Opportunity is in 'Marathon Valley' on the west rim of Endeavour Crater, searching for clay minerals. The rover is operating in persistent RAM mode (not using Flash for data storage). This requires the rover to stay awake all the way up to the Ultra-High Frequency (UHF) relay passes on each sol. With Mars Odyssey now in a later orbit, relay passes come much later in the day. With winter coming and less sunlight for energy production, these late relay passes cause the rover to consume more energy from the batteries. Therefore, Sols 4095 and 4097 (Aug. 1 and Aug. 3, 2015) had little science and a shorter relay pass to save energy for a drive on Sol 4096 (Aug. 2, 2015). The drive successfully completed, moving the rover over 65.6 feet (20 meters) towards a new geologic unit within the valley. Extensive post-drive Navigation Camera (Navcam) panoramas were also collected. With a good state of charge after the recharge sol on Sol 4097 (Aug. 3, 2015), Opportunity drove again on Sol 4098 (Aug. 4, 2015), moving just under 19.7 feet (6 meters) to reach an exposed outcrop within this new rock unit. The plan ahead is to perform some contact science measurements on the targets in this area. During the winter, Opportunity will rely more on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter for relay, which occurs earlier in the day. Other than the Flash, Opportunity is in good health. As of Sol 4098 (Aug. 4, 2015), the solar array energy production was 431 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.639 (from Sol 4096, Aug. 2, 2015) and a solar array dust factor of 0.614. Total odometry is 26.41 miles (42.51 kilometers), more than a marathon.



sols 4085 - 4093, July 21, 2015 - July 30, 2015: Beginning to Explore 'Marathon Valley'

Opportunity has entered 'Marathon Valley' on the west rim of Endeavour Crater and has begun the search for clay minerals. Previously, the project tested returning to using Flash memory for data storage. The Flash exhibited instability after a few sols, so the project returned Opportunity to operating in RAM-only mode on Sol 4085 (July 21, 2015). Over the next two sols a 360-degree Navigation Camera (Navcam) panorama was collected. On Sol 4088 (July 24, 2015), the rover resumed contact science with the collection of a Microscopic Imager (MI) mosaic of a surface target followed by the placement of the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) on the same for a multi-hour integration. Additional MI images were collected on the next sol to complete the mosaic. Atmospheric observations were also made as part of this multi-sol plan. On Sol 4091, (July 28, 2015), the Rock Abrasion Tool (RAT) was used to brush the surface target to prepare it for further investigation. This was followed by another MI mosaic and the placement of the APXS. On Sol 4093 (July 30, 2015), an offset MI mosaic was collected and the APXS placed on the offset target. Other than the Flash, Opportunity is in good health. As of Sol 4092 (July 29, 2015), the solar array energy production was 424 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.695 and a solar array dust factor of 0.611. Total odometry is 26.40 miles (42.48 kilometers), more than a marathon.



sols 4080 - 4084, July 16, 2015 - July 20, 2015: Experimenting with Flash Memory

Opportunity has entered 'Marathon Valley' on the west rim of Endeavour Crater. On Sol 4081 (July 17, 2015), the rover drove 96.7 feet (29.47 meters) to the northeast to enter the valley and collected spectacular imagery. The project has been experimenting with the Flash file system on the rover to understand its current usability. On Sol 4082 (July 18, 2015), Opportunity mounted its non-volatile Flash file system, instead of using volatile RAM for telemetry storage. The Flash seemed to work, although a benign 'amnesia' event did occur later on the sol. On the next Sol the rover was unable to mount the Flash at all and used RAM instead, still able to carry out the science plan that day. On Sol 4084 (July 20, 2015), a short bump was sequenced, but because of an amnesia event later on the sol, the telemetry from the bump was not received on the ground, although other data showed the drive completed as expected and the rover moved to the planned location. The Flash file system will continued to be investigated by the project as the science mission in Marathon Valley continues. Other than the Flash, Opportunity is in good health. As of Sol 4084 (July 20, 2015), the solar array energy production was 432 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.645 and a solar array dust factor of 0.607. Total odometry is 26.40 miles (42.48 kilometers), more than a marathon.



sols 4072 - 4079, July 08, 2015 - July 15, 2015: A Week of Imaging and Driving

Opportunity is on the west rim of Endeavour Crater heading into 'Marathon Valley.' On Sol 4072 (July 8, 2015), the rover collected some targeted 13-filter Panoramic Camera (Pancam) images and some Navigation Camera (Navcam) cloud and dust devil movies (if any were present). On Sol 4073 (July 9, 2015), Opportunity bumped only about 10 inches (25 centimeters) to position the robotic arm to reach some new targets within the so-called 'Red Zone' along the edge of the 'Spirit of St. Louis.' Also, some post-drive targeted Pancam observations were made. An atmospheric argon measurement was collected that night by the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) instrument. On Sol 4074 (July 10, 2015), more targeted 13-filter Pancam observations were made along with more Navcam cloud and dust devil movies. On Sol 4075 (July 11, 2015), the rover began some in-situ (contact) science investigation of the new 'Red Zone' target, first by collecting a Microscopic Imager (MI) mosaic, then by placing the APXS for a multi-hour integration. On the next sol, more Navcam cloud and dust devil movies were collected. On Sol 4077 (July 13, 2015), Opportunity headed around the 'Spirit of St. Louis' to the east with a 90-foot (27.5-meter) drive. Post-drive Navcam panoramas were collected from that new vantage point. On Sol 4078 (July 14, 2015), the rover departed the 'Spirit of St. Louis' and headed northeast towards 'Swan Hill' with a 120-foot (36.7-meter) drive, collecting post-drive Navcam panoramas. On the next sol, Opportunity first collected some pre-drive targeted Navcam and Pancam images, then drove almost 62 feet (19 meters) heading into Marathon Valley. Following the drive, a 360-degree Navcam panorama was collected. As of Sol 4079 (July 15, 2015), the solar array energy production was 421 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.634 and a solar array dust factor of 0.612. Total odometry is 26.38 miles (42.45 kilometers), more than a marathon.



sols 4059 - 4064, June 25, 2015 - June 30, 2015: Opportunity Gets Back to Work

Opportunity is on the west rim of Endeavour Crater at the 'Spirit of St. Louis' crater near the entrance of 'Marathon Valley.' The Earth-Mars Solar Conjunction command moratorium and communication blackout is over and the rover has resumed normal operations and science planning. On Sol 4059 (June 25, 2015), the rover conducted targeted remote sensing including capturing a spectacular Phobos transit of the Sun. The next sol had the rover collecting change-detecting imagery to compare to imagery collected before solar conjunction. On Sol 4061 (June 27, 2015), Opportunity bumped just over a meter to reach some new surface targets just the other side of the 'Red Zone' unit that had been previously investigated. Post-dump targeted Panoramic Camera (Pancam) images and a 360-degree Navigation Camera (Navcam) panorama were collected. With the new position, the rover on Sol 4064 (June 30, 2015), used the Rock Abrasion Tool (RAT) to brush the surface target, named 'Ryan NYP.' This was followed with a Microscopic Imager (MI) mosaic and a placement of the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) for an evening integration. The rover continues to operate in RAM-only mode while the on-board Flash storage system is being investigated. The rover is otherwise in good health. As of Sol 4064 (June 30, 2015), the solar array energy production was 465 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.725 and a solar array dust factor of 0.628. Total odometry is 26.33 miles (42.37 kilometers), more than a marathon.



sols 4053 - 4058, June 19, 2015 - June 24, 2015: Rover In Good Health After Communication Blackout

Opportunity is on the west rim of Endeavour Crater at the 'Spirit of St. Louis' crater near the entrance of 'Marathon Valley.' The Earth-Mars Solar Conjunction command moratorium and communication blackout has just ended. Telemetry is again being received from the Opportunity and the rover is in good health. Normal tactical planning has resumed with the Sol 4059 (June 25, 2015) plan. As of Sol 4055 (June 21, 2015), the solar array energy production was 477 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.797 and a solar array dust factor of 0.644. Total odometry is 26.33 miles (42.37 kilometers), more than a marathon.



sols 4043 - 4052, June 08, 2015 - June 17, 2015: Rover Remains in Solar Conjunction Communication Blackout

Opportunity is on the west rim of Endeavour Crater at the 'Spirit of St. Louis' crater near the entrance of 'Marathon Valley.' We are inside the Earth-Mars Solar Conjunction command moratorium and communication blackout. 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: http://mars.nasa.gov/news/whatsnew/index.cfm?FuseAction=ShowNews&NewsID=1824 Opportunity will be executing a basic set of activities from on-board sequences for the remainder of the solar conjunction period, including some Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) integration on a selected surface target. As of the last returned telemetry on Sol 4042 (June 7, 2015), the solar array energy production was 490 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.768 and a solar array dust factor of 0.643. Total odometry is 26.33 (42.37 kilometers), more than a marathon.



sols 4039 - 4042, June 04, 2015 - June 07, 2015: For Next Three Weeks, Rover in Quiet Period of Operations

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 in the Solar Conjunction command moratorium. 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: http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/news/whatsnew/index.cfm?FuseAction=ShowNews&NewsID=1824 Opportunity will be executing a basic set of activities for the remainder of the solar conjunction period, including some Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) measurements of a surface target. As of the last returned telemetry on Sol 4042 (June 7, 2015), the solar array energy production was 490 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.768 and a solar array dust factor of 0.643. Total odometry is 26.33 miles (42.37 kilometers), more than a marathon.



sols 4030 - 4038, May 26, 2015 - June 03, 2015: Rover Ready for Solar Conjunction and Period of Curtailed Operations

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: http://mars.nasa.gov/news/whatsnew/?FuseAction=ShowNews&NewsID=1824 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.



sols 4024 - 4029, May 20, 2015 - May 25, 2015: Preparing for Solar Conjunction

Opportunity is on the west rim of Endeavour Crater at the 'Spirit of St. Louis' crater near the entrance of 'Marathon Valley.' The rover had been exploring the outcrops inside the Spirit of St. Louis crater and preparing for solar conjunction. 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: http://mars.nasa.gov/allaboutmars/nightsky/solar-conjunction/. The intent on Sol 4025 (May 21, 2015) was to drive out of the Spirit of St. Louis crater, but a vehicle reset and associated amnesia event occurred on the evening of Sol 4024 (May 20, 2015), stopping all onboard sequences. The rover was restored to master sequence control on Sol 4026 (May 22, 2015). In light of the recent unexplained vehicle resets, the project made the decision to configure the rover in RAM-only mode, avoiding the use of non-volatile Flash memory for storage. That configuration change was made on Sol 4027 (May 23, 2015). On Sol 4029 (May 25, 2015), Opportunity successfully completed a 157-foot (48 meter) drive, putting the rover outside of the Spirit of St. Louis crater. Another drive is planned before stopping for solar conjunction. Other than the Flash memory related issues, the rover is in good health. As of Sol 4028 (May 24, 2015), the solar array energy production was 558 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.962 and a solar array dust factor of 0.728. Total odometry is 26.31 miles (42.35 kilometers), more than a marathon.



sols 4018 - 4023, May 14, 2015 - May 19, 2015: Rover Restored to Normal Operations After a Reset Error

Opportunity is on the west rim of Endeavour Crater at the 'Spirit of St. Louis' crater near the entrance of 'Marathon Valley.' The rover had been exploring the outcrops inside the Spirit of St. Louis crater. On Sol 4018 (May 14, 2015), the project attempted to restore the rover to master sequence control after an unexplained reset on Sol 4017 (May 13, 2015). However, an operational error prevented the use of the high-gain antenna (HGA), and the rover did not receive subsequent recovery commands. The rover was successfully restored to normal operations on Sol 4020 (May 16, 2015). On that sol, Opportunity executed a very small turn-in-place of only 4.6 degrees to position a surface target within reach of the robotic arm instruments. That evening, an overnight atmospheric argon measurement using the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) was made. Another amnesia event occurred on the evening of Sol 4021 (May 17, 2015), but it was benign with no loss of data. On Sol 4023 (May 19, 2015), the Rock Abrasion Tool (RAT) was used to brush a surface target for in-situ (contact) investigation. After the brushing, a Microscopic Imager (MI) mosaic was collected, followed by the placement of the APXS for a multi-hour integration. As of Sol 4023 (May 19, 2015), the solar array energy production was 536 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 1.105 and a solar array dust factor of 0.727. Total odometry is 26.28 miles (42.30 kilometers), more than a marathon.



sols 4011 - 4017, May 06, 2015 - May 13, 2015: Exploring the 'Spirit of St. Louis' Crater

Opportunity is on the west rim of Endeavour Crater at the 'Spirit of St. Louis' crater near the entrance of 'Marathon Valley.' The rover had been exploring the outcrops inside the Spirit of St. Louis crater. On Sol 4011 (May 6, 2015), Opportunity drove 25 feet (7.6 meters) to approach the target, named 'Harold M. Bixby.' The drive was preceded with targeted color Panoramic Camera (Pancam) imagery and followed by post-drive Navigation Camera (Navcam) panoramas. On Sol 4013 (May 8, 2015), the rover began the in-situ (contact) investigation of the same target with a Microscopic Imager (MI) mosaic and then the placement of the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) for a multi-hour integration. Additional Navcam panoramas were collected on Sol 4014 (May 9, 2015). On Sol 4016 (May 12, 2015), Opportunity drove again toward some hummocky terrain, driving about 30 feet (9 meters) to the south. This drive too was preceded with targeted color Pancam imagery and followed with post-drive Navcam panoramas. On the morning of Sol 4017 (May 13, 2015), the rover experienced a vehicle reset during the high-gain antenna (HGA) pass. A bad address was reported with a range outside of any address space used by the rover's avionics. The cause of the reset is not known at this time. The project is in the process of restoring the rover back to master sequence control. As of Sol 4016 (May 12, 2015), the solar array energy production was 526 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 1.146 and a solar array dust factor of 0.734. Total odometry is 26.28 miles (42.30 kilometers), more than a marathon.



sols 4004 - 4010, April 29, 2015 - May 05, 2015: Opportunity Getting Ready to Enter 'Spirit of St. Louis' Crater

Opportunity is on the west rim of Endeavour Crater at the 'Spirit of St. Louis' crater near the entrance of 'Marathon Valley.' The rover had been exploring the outcrops just outside the Spirit of St. Louis crater, so now its time to enter the crater. On Sol 4004 (April 29, 2015), Opportunity performed a toe-dip maneuver to test the physical nature of the crater interior, then backed out and drove along the rim towards another entry point. On the next sol, here, the rover entered the crater with a 30 feet (9-meter) drive toward the interior crater mound, called 'Lindbergh.' On Sol 4006 (May 1, 2015), Opportunity performed a dog-leg approach to Lindbergh mound to reach some surface targets. The next sol, the rover collected an atmospheric argon measurement with the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) and performed a late-night Panoramic Camera (Pancam) observation of a Phobos eclipse. Now in position at the mound, Opportunity performed some in-situ (contact) science at a target, called 'Roosevelt Field.' Using the robotic arm, a Microscopic Imager (MI) mosaic of the target was collected with the placement of the APXS on the same for a multi-hour integration. With each drive the rover made, both pre-drive targeted Pancam images and post-drive Navigation Camera (Navcam) panoramas were collected. The rover did experience one benign amnesia event on the evening of Sol 4004 (April 29, 2015), but otherwise the rover is in great health. As of Sol 4010 (May 5, 2015), the solar array energy production was 508 watt-hours with an increased atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 1.333 and a solar array dust factor of 0.729. Total odometry is 26.27 miles (42.28 kilometers), more than a marathon.



sols 3999 - 4003, April 24, 2015 - April 28, 2015: 4,000+ Martian Days of Work on Mars!

Opportunity is on the west rim of Endeavour Crater next to the "Spirit of St. Louis" crater near the entrance of "Marathon Valley." The rover has been exploring the outcrops in this area. On her 4,000th day on Mars, Opportunity drove about 16 feet (5 meters) to approach a new outcrop for investigation, called "Lambert Field." A post-drive 360-degree Navigation Camera (Navcam) panorama was collected and the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) was used to collect an atmospheric argon measurement. On Sol 4003 (April 28, 2015), the rover used the robotic arm to collect a Microscopic Imager (MI) mosaic of the new in-situ (contact) target and then placed the APXS on the same for a multi-hour integration. Some Panoramic Camera (Pancam) color imagery was also collected. Another amnesia event occurred on the evening wake up on Sol 4002 (April 27, 2015). This event, like the others, was benign. Regional dust storms have been kicking up dust into the atmosphere. The atmospheric opacity over the rover's site has increased along with some modest cleaning of the rover's solar arrays. As of Sol 4003 (April 28, 2015), the solar array energy production was 526 watt-hours with an increased atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 1.395 and a solar array dust factor of 0.830. Total odometry is 26.25 miles (42.25 kilometers), more than a marathon.



sols 3990 - 3998, April 15, 2015 - April 23, 2015: Rover on the Lookout for Dust Devils!

Opportunity is on the west rim of Endeavour Crater next to the "Spirit of St. Louis" crater near the entrance of "Marathon Valley." The rover had been conducting an in-situ (contact) science campaign at the outcrop named "Thermopylae." On Sol 3991 (April 16, 2015), the robotic arm was used to collect a Microscopic Imager (MI) mosaic and then place the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) for a multi-hour integration. A small Navigation Camera (Navcam) mosaic was also collected on that sol. On the next sol, a new Navcam Dust Devil Watch was sequenced. On Sol 3993 (April 18, 2015), further MI mosaics were collected followed by another APXS placement. For the next sol, the APXS was offset to an adjacent target for another integration. However, during the preparation for the afternoon UHF relay pass the rover experienced a reset, stopping all sequences. The cause of the reset is unknown and still under investigation. Further, an amnesia event occurred later that night for the wakeup to start Deep Sleep. The rover was restored to master sequence control on Sol 3996 (April 21, 2015). On Sol 3998 (April 23, 2015), Opportunity drove a little over 26 feet (8 meters) to reach the rim of the Spirit of St. Louis crater. As of Sol 3998, the solar array energy production was 620 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.766 and a solar array dust factor of 0.731. Total odometry is 26.25 miles (42.24 kilometers), more than a marathon.



sols 3983 - 3989, April 8, 2015 - April 14, 2015: Robotic Arm Gets Busy on Rock Outcrop

Opportunity is on the west rim of Endeavour Crater near the entrance of "Marathon Valley," a putative location for abundant clay minerals. The rover is positioned on a light-toned outcrop next to the feature called "The Spirit of St. Louis" crater. The rover is continuing a campaign to investigate surface targets in this outcrop. On Sol 3984 (April 9, 2015), Opportunity examined the surface target called "Thermopylae" using the robotic arm to collect a Microscopic Imager (MI) mosaic and later perform a placement of the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) for a multi-sol integration. On Sol 3986 (April 11, 2015), the rover repeated this set of science observations on a different target within the rover's work volume. Another MI mosaic and APXS integration were collected. On Sol 3989 (April 14, 2015), Opportunity bumped about 24 inches (60 centimeters) to position to reach some other surface targets in the same outcrop. The rover has implemented a supplementary way of collected additional battery data and has also been acquiring some atmospheric opacity measurements to support the Insight mission. The rover experienced two more amnesia events on the evenings of Sols 3987 and 3988 (April 12 and April 13, 2015). Both were benign and resulted in no loss of science data. The rover is otherwise in excellent health. As of Sol 3989 (April 14, 2015), the solar array energy production was 561 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.813 and a solar array dust factor of 0.714. Total odometry is 26.24 miles (42.24 kilometers), more than a marathon.



sols 3976 - 3982, March 31, 2015 - April 7, 2015: Examining Rock Outcrop at 'The Spirit of St. Louis' Crater

Opportunity is on the west rim of Endeavour Crater near the entrance of "Marathon Valley," a putative location for abundant clay minerals. The rover is positioned on a light-toned outcrop next to the feature called "The Spirit of St. Louis" crater. The rover is continuing a campaign to investigate surface targets in this light-toned outcrop. On Sol 3977 (April 1, 2015), the rover began two sols of Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) measurements with offset placements between sols. On Sol 3979 (April 3, 2015), the rover bumped to a new surface target, moving almost 20 feet (6 meters). For the next two evenings, atmospheric argon was measured using the APXS. Additional in-situ (contact) science with the robotic arm instruments was planned for Sol 3982 (April 7, 2015), but a DSN problem prevented the sequence plan from being transmitted to the rover. Opportunity instead executed on-board run-out sequences. The missed plan will be repeated in the next uplink planning opportunity. Two more amnesia events occurred in the evenings of Sols 3979 and 3980 (April 3 and April 5, 2015). Both events were benign with no loss of science data. As of Sol 3982 (April 7, 2015), the solar array energy production was 559 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0971 and a solar array dust factor of 0.732. Total odometry is 26.24 miles (42.24 kilometers).



sols 3970 - 3975, March 25, 2015 - March 30, 2015: Rover Explores 'The Spirit of St. Louis' Crater

Opportunity is on the west rim of Endeavour Crater near the entrance of "Marathon Valley," a putative location for abundant clay minerals. The rover has driven around the feature called "The Spirit of St. Louis" crater and approached a light-toned rock outcrop. On Sol 3970 (March 25, 2015), Opportunity started the in-situ (contact) examination of the rock outcrop with a Microscopic Imager (MI) mosaic followed by the placement of the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) for a multi-hour integration. On the next sol, the rover performed a small turn to reach other targets with the instruments on the robotic arm. After assessing that those new targets were not accessible, the rover bumped again on the next sol. With good targets now within reach, Opportunity used the Rock Abrasion Tool (RAT) to brush another surface target and followed that with the collection of a MI mosaic and the placement of the APXS for another multi-hour integration. Although the Flash files system has been functioning since the reformat and masking of Bank 7 back on Sol 3964 (March 19, 2015), a single amnesia event did occur at the rover wake up on the evening of Sol 3969 (March 24, 2015). The amnesia event was benign and did not impact rover operations nor result in any loss of science data. The project continues to investigate this. As of Sol 3975 (March 30, 2015), the solar array energy production was 562 watt-hours with an elevated atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 1.010 and a solar array dust factor of 0.744. Total odometry is 26.24 miles (42.23 kilometers).



sols 3963 - 3969, March 18, 2015 - March 24, 2015: Flash Reformatted and Marathon Completed

The Opportunity mission is now the first human enterprise to exceed marathon distance of travel on another world. Opportunity is on the west rim of Endeavour Crater near 'Marathon Valley', a putative location for abundant clay minerals. The rover is approaching a feature called 'Spirit of St. Louis Crater' at the entrance to Marathon Valley. On Sol 3964 (March 19, 2015), the flash-memory file system was reformatted using new flight software. The reformat was successful. The rover is again using flash for nonvolatile data storage. On Sol 3966 (March 21, 2015), Opportunity began approaching the Spirit of St. Louis Crater with a 177-foot (54-meter) drive, avoiding some obstacles along the way. The drive was preceded with some targeted Pancam imagery and followed by a Navcam panorama, which is typical practice when driving. On Sol 3968 (overnight March 23 to March 24), Opportunity made history. The rover the rover drove 154 feet (46.9 meters) in a dog leg around the crater. With that drive, Opportunity exceeded the distance for a marathon (26.219 miles or 42.195 kilometers). On Sol 3959 (March 24), the rover continued to advance with a 28-foot (8.5-meter) approach to a light-toned rock outcrop. As of Sol 3969, the solar array energy production was 610 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.678 and a solar array dust factor of 0.717. Total odometry as of Sol 3969 (March 24, 2015) is 26.241 mile (42.230 kilometers).



sols 3957 - 3962, March 12, 2015 - March 17, 2015: Approaching 'The Spirit of St. Louis' Crater

Opportunity is on the west rim of Endeavour Crater near 'Marathon Valley,' a putative location for abundant clay minerals. Opportunity in less than 328 feet (100 meters) away from the feature called 'The Spirit of St. Louis' at the entrance to Marathon Valley. The rover completed the near-term science campaign this past week. On Sol 3957 (March 12, 2015), Opportunity bumped only a few centimeters to position a surface target within reach of the robotic arm instruments. Sol 3959 (March 14, 2015), began two days of in situ (contact) investigation of the rock target named 'Sgt. Nathaniel Pryor.' On each sol, the robotic arm used the Microscopic Imager (MI) to collect an image mosaic, then placed the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) to collect a multi-hour measurement of the elemental composition of the target. With the in-situ work complete, Opportunity drove 98 feet (30 meters) west to line up for the approach to the Spirit of St. Louis crater. The project is preparing to mask off the troubled Bank 7 sector of the Flash file system with a new version of the flight software on Sol 3964 (March 19, 2015). As of Sol 3962 (March 17, 2015), the solar array energy production was 607 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.759 and a solar array dust factor of 0.740. Total odometry is 26.17 miles (42.12 kilometers).



sols 3949 - 3956, March 4, 2015 - March 11, 2015: Sampling Mars Rocks

Opportunity is on the west rim of Endeavour Crater near "Marathon Valley," a putative location for abundant clay minerals now only about 394 feet (120 meters) away. The project is preparing to mask off the troubled Bank 7 sector of the Flash file system with a new version of the flight software (FSW) after the project completes the near-term science campaign. The rover has sampled an unusual rock composition in the rim region near Marathon Valley. The near-term plan is to sample more rocks exhibiting the purple and bluish coloring that is apparent at this site. On Sol 3950 (March 5, 2015), we began robotic arm work with a Rock Abrasion Tool (RAT) brush and Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) measurement of "blue rock" target "Sgt. Charles Floyd." Due to Ultra High Frequency antenna data volume constraints we postponed doing a full Microscopic Imager (MI) mosaic on the target until Sol 3952 (March 7, 2015). Depending on the results of the APXS measurement, the team was considering a follow-up grind on Sol 3955 (March 10, 2015). However as the subsequent analysis showed that Sgt. Charles Floyd appeared similar to another rock that we encountered out on the plains, and since it seemed to be very hard and would cause excessive wear on the RAT grind bit, we decided to move on to a "purple rock" target instead. On Sol 3955 (March 10, 2015), we bumped to target "Sgt. Nathaniel Pryor." While the bump was successful, wheel straightening knocked the Instrument Deployment Device slightly out of alignment with the target and required us to do a small tank turn, which has been implemented in the Sol 3957 (March 12, 2015), plan. As of Sol 3956 (March 11, 2015), the solar array energy production was 577 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.658 and a solar array dust factor of 0.725. Total odometry is 26.15 miles (42.09 kilometers).



sols 3944 - 3948, February 27, 2015 - March 3, 2015: Taking a Closer Look at Purple-Bluish Rock Formation

Opportunity is on the west rim of Endeavour Crater near "Marathon Valley," a putative location for abundant clay minerals now only about 394 feet (120 meters) away. The project is preparing to mask off the troubled Bank 7 sector of the Flash file system with a new version of the flight software (FSW) after the project completes the near-term science campaign. The rover has sampled an unusual rock composition in the rim region near Marathon Valley. The near-term plan is to sample more rocks exhibiting the purple and bluish coloring that is apparent at this site. On Sol 3945 (Feb. 28, 2015), Opportunity drove over 98 feet (30 meters) to the south to approach more of the purple and blue rock types. Supporting Navigation Camera (Navcam) and Panoramic Camera (Pancam) panoramas were also collected. On Sol 3848 (March 3, 2015), the rover bumped forward just under 13 feet (4 meters) to reach these rocks and place candidate targets within reach of the robotic arm instruments. The plan ahead is to brush the surface targets with the Rock Abrasion Tool (RAT) and collect a Microscopic Imager (MI) mosaic and place the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) for a multi-hour integration. As of Sol 3948 (March 3, 2015), the solar array energy production was 545 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.708 and a solar array dust factor of 0.687. Total odometry is 26.15 miles (42.09 kilometers).



sols 3937 - 3943, February 19, 2015 - February 26, 2015: New Flight Software to Fix Memory Issues is Onboard Rover

Opportunity is on the west rim of Endeavour Crater near "Marathon Valley," a putative location for abundant clay minerals now only about 492 feet (150 meters) away. The project is preparing to mask off the troubled Bank 7 sector of the Flash file system with a new version of the flight software (FSW). The preparations for the FSW load and build were to begin with the 3-sol plan on Sol 3938 (Feb. 20, 2015). However, bad weather and a complex power outage in Canberra, Australia prevented the plans from being sent. The rover was allowed to safely execute its onboard runout plan for the weekend. On Sol 3941 (Feb. 23, 2015), preparations were restarted for the FSW build. Remote sensing observations of Marathon Valley were also performed. On Sol 3942 (Feb. 24, 2015), the FSW patch was uploaded and the new FSW was successfully built and saved onboard. On the next sol, Opportunity successfully booted onto the new version of FSW and is running without error. Further remote observations of Marathon Valley with the Panoramic Camera (Pancam) and the collection of an atmospheric argon measurement with the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer were also commanded. The plan ahead is to allow a few days to confirm all aspects of the new FSW before performing the reformat of the Flash file system with the new software. As of Sol 3943 (Feb. 26, 2015), the solar array energy production was 559 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.734 and a solar array dust factor of 0.674. Total odometry is 26.13 miles (42.05 kilometers).



sols 3928 - 3936, February 10, 2015 - February 18, 2015: Solar Panels Get a Small Energy Boost

Opportunity is on the west rim of Endeavour Crater heading towards "Marathon Valley," a putative location for abundant clay minerals now only about 492 feet (150 meters) away. The project is preparing to mask off the troubled Bank 7 sector of the Flash file system with a new version of the flight software to be uploaded shortly. On Sols 3928 and 3929 (Feb. 10 and 11, 2015), Opportunity performed some targeted color Panoramic Camera (Pancam) observations. On Sol 3930 (Feb. 12, 2015), the rover drove about 66 feet (20 meters) to get a view into Marathon Valley. This was followed by a post-drive Navigation Camera (Navcam) panorama. Opportunity drove again on Sol 3932 (Feb. 14, 2015), bumping near a potential surface target. An atmospheric argon measurement with the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) was made. On the following two sols a 360-degree Navcam panorama was collected. A small dust cleaning events occurred on Sol 3934 (Feb. 16, 2015) improving energy production by about 12 percent. On Sol 3935 (Feb. 17, 2015), the robotic arm was used to collect a Microscopic Imager (MI) mosaic of the surface target "Jean Baptiste Charboneau" followed by an APXS placement on the same for a multi-hour integration. Opportunity drove again on Sol 3936 (Feb. 18, 2015), with a 9.8-meter drive to get a better view into the interior of Marathon Valley. As of Sol 3936 (Feb. 18, 2015), the solar array energy production was 559 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.816 and an improved solar array dust factor of 0.695. Total odometry is 26.13 miles (42.05 kilometers).



sols 3922 - 3927, February 4, 2015 - February 9, 2015: Latest Drive Puts Rover Within Marathon-Distance Record

Opportunity is on the west rim of Endeavour Crater heading towards "Marathon Valley," a putative location for abundant clay minerals now only about 656 feet (200 meters) away. The project is operating the rover without using the Flash storage system to avoid resets associated with a corrupted portion of Flash. The project is preparing to mask off the troubled sector of Flash and resume using the remainder of the Flash file system. On Sol 3923 (Feb. 5, 2015), Opportunity drove 72 feet (21.7 meters) south, following the drive with post-drive Panoramic Camera (Pancam) and Navigation Camera (Navcam) drive-direction panoramas. On the following sol, the rover completed the Navcam 360-degree panorama with more imagery. On Sol 3925 (Feb. 7, 2015), Opportunity performed the first sol of a two-sol "touch 'n go" using the robotic arm (the "touch") to collect Microscopic Imager frames and then place the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer on a surface target for a multi-hour integration. On the next sol (the "go"), the rover drove over 102 feet (31 meters) and then collected more drive direction imagery. With this drive Opportunity exceeded (26 miles) 42 kilometers of driving distance on Mars. As of Sol 3927 (Feb. 9, 2015), the solar array energy production was 479 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.824 and a solar array dust factor of 0.606. Total odometry is 26.11 miles (42 kilometers).



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sols 3915 - 3921, January 28, 2015 - February 3, 2015: Rover Continues Driving While Team Works on Rover Memory Issues

Opportunity is on the west rim of Endeavour Crater heading towards "Marathon Valley," a putative location for abundant clay minerals now only about 656 feet (200 meters) away. The project is operating the rover without using the Flash storage system to avoid resets associated with a corrupted portion of Flash. The project is preparing to mask off the troubled sector of Flash and resume using the remainder of the Flash file system. Opportunity drove on Sols 3916, 3918 and 3921 (Jan. 29, Jan. 31 and Feb. 3, 2015), totaling about 282 feet (86 meters). The operations strategy has been to perform pre-drive targeted imaging, then drive on the first sol of a multi-sol plan, collecting post-drive Panoramic Camera (Pancam) and Navigation Camera (Navcam) imagery in the forward direction for data return that evening. Then, on the next sol, complete the 360-degree Navcam panorama with images in the rearward direction. As of Sol 3921 (Feb. 3, 2015), the solar array energy production was 484 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.949 and a solar array dust factor of 0.632. Total odometry is 26.08 miles (41.97 kilometers).



sols 3909 - 3914, January 22, 2015 - January 27, 2015: Several Drives This Week Put Opportunity Near Marathon Distance

Opportunity is on the west rim of Endeavour Crater heading towards "Marathon Valley," a putative location for abundant clay minerals now about 984 feet (300 meters) away. The project is operating the rover without using the Flash storage system to avoid reset problems and is using instead random access memory (RAM) for temporary storage of telemetry. The project is preparing to mask off the troubled sector of Flash and resume using the remainder of the Flash file system in normal operations. Opportunity drove on Sols 3909, 3911 and 3914 (Jan. 22, Jan. 24 and Jan. 27, 2015), totaling almost 279 feet (85 meters). On the evening of Sol 3912 (Jan. 25, 2015), an atmospheric argon measurement was collected with the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer. Targeted color imagery is being collected as the rover makes progress towards the "Spirit of St. Louis" crater and Marathon Valley. As of Sol 3914 (Jan. 27, 2015), the estimated solar array energy production was 534 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.891 and an inferred solar array dust factor of 0.636. Total odometry is 26.02 miles (41.88 kilometers).



sols 3902 - 3908, January 14, 2015 - January 21, 2015: Team Has Plan to Fix Flash Memory Issue

Opportunity is on the west rim of Endeavour Crater heading towards "Marathon Valley," a putative location for abundant clay minerals now less than 1,312 feet (400 meters) to the south. The Flash memory degradation causes multiple resets of the rover on each wake-up. To mitigate this, the project is operating the rover without using the non-volatile Flash storage system, and using instead the volatile random access memory (RAM) for temporary storage of telemetry. Recently, the project was able to configure the rover to use this mode at every wakeup without the need to set this mode each time with a ground command. Meanwhile, the project is preparing to mask off the troubled sector of Flash and resume using the remainder of the Flash file system in normal operations. The plan to implement the masking was reviewed last week by an independent panel and the project was given the go ahead. Opportunity drove on Sols 3902, 3905 and 3908 (Jan. 14, Jan. 16 and Jan. 21, 2015), totaling over 574 feet (175 meters). As of Sol 3908 (Jan. 21, 2015), the solar array energy production was 440 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 1.037 and a solar array dust factor of 0.596 (from Sol 3906/Jan. 18, 2015). Total odometry is 25.97 miles (41.80 kilometers).



sols 3895 - 3901, January 7, 2015 - January 13, 2015: Team Working on Strategy to Fix Flash Memory Issue

Opportunity is on the west rim of Endeavour Crater heading towards "Marathon Valley," a putative location for abundant clay minerals now less than 1,969 feet (600 meters) to the south. The Flash memory degradation is causing multiple resets of the rover on each wake-up. To mitigate this, the project is operating the rover without using the non-volatile Flash storage system, and using instead the volatile random access memory (RAM) for temporary storage of telemetry. This requires real-time commanding the rover on the first day (sol) of each plan. Meanwhile, the project has developed the strategy to mask off the troubled sector of Flash and resume using the remainder of the Flash file system in normal operations. The project plans to implement the masking after an independent review is held later this week. Using RAM storage, Opportunity drove on Sol 3895 (Jan. 7, 2015), to do a small turn in place. Since arriving on the summit of "Cape Tribulation" on Sol 3894 (Jan. 6, 2015), Opportunity has been collecting a full color, 360-degree Panoramic Camera (Pancam) panorama. As of Sol 3901 (Jan. 13, 2015), the solar array energy production was 395 watt-hours, an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 1.056 and a solar array dust factor of 0.606. Total odometry is 25.86 miles (41.62 kilometers).


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sols 3875 - 3894, December 18, 2014 - January 6, 2015: Rover Reaches the Summit of 'Cape Tribulation' After Several Drives this Week

Opportunity is on the west rim of Endeavour Crater heading towards "Marathon Valley," a putative location for abundant clay minerals now only about 1,969 feet (600 meters) to the south.

The Flash memory continues to degrade causing multiple resets of the rover on each wake-up. To mitigate this, the project is operating the rover without using the non-volatile Flash storage system, and instead relies on the volatile random access memory (RAM) for temporary storage of telemetry. This requires real-time commanding the rover on the first sol of each plan. Meanwhile, the project is developing a strategy to mask off the troubled sector of Flash and resume using the remainder of the Flash file system in normal operations.

Using RAM storage, Opportunity drove on Sols 3875, 3881, 3893 and 3894 (Dec. 18, 24, 2014 and Jan. 5 and Jan. 6, 2015), totaling over 656 feet (200 meters). With the drive on Sol 3894 (Jan. 6, 2015), Opportunity is now on the summit of "Cape Tribulation," the highest point so far on the western rim of Endeavour Crater. This point is 443 feet (135 meters) above the plain of "Botany Bay" before the rover started climbing the rim.

As of Sol 3894 (Jan. 6, 2015), the solar array energy production was 438 watt-hours, an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 1.041 and a solar array dust factor of 0.631.

Total odometry is 25.86 miles (41.62 kilometers).