by Staff Writers
Pasadena CA (JPL) Jun 20, 2011
Opportunity continues to make excellent progress towards Endeavour crater with under 3 kilometers (nearly 2 miles) to go before the first landfall on the rim.
On Sols 2622, 2626, 2627 and 2628 (June 9, 14, 15 and 16, 2011), the rover drove over 345 meters (1,132 feet) backwards using a combination of blind driving and autonomous navigation.
Opportunity has been driving towards the south/southeast, passing by interesting craters along the way. Currently, the rover is passing through a strewn field of crater impacts, suspected to be all from the same air fall event.
On Sol 2625 (June 12, 2011), additional diagnostic tests were run on the miniature thermal emission spectrometer (Mini-TES) instrument. The results are providing further insights into the instrument's anomalous behavior.
The rover has benefitted from some recent dust cleaning events on Sols 2627 and 2628 (June 15 and 16, 2011).
As of Sol 2628 (June 16, 2011), solar array energy production increased to 528 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.782 and the solar array dust factor improved to 0.652.
Total odometry is 30,815.10 meters (30.82 kilometers, or 19.15 miles).
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Opportunity Breaks Backward Driving Record
Pasadena CA (JPL) Jun 15, 2011
Opportunity completed a drive-by imaging campaign of another small, but young crater, named "Gemini 5." On Sol 2616 (June 3, 2011), Opportunity set a new one-sol backwards driving distance record with a drive exceeding 165 meters (541 feet). The forward driving record is still 220 meters (721 feet), set on Sol 410 (March 20, 2005). The drive took the rover toward the crater. Th ... read more
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