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Daily Update - 5/20/14
Opportunity Explores Region of Aluminum Clay Minerals
Opportunity Status for sol 3657-3662

Opportunity is exploring south of "Solander Point" on the west rim of Endeavour Crater. The rover is exploring the region of aluminum-hydroxyl clay minerals seen from orbit.

On Sol 3657 (May 8, 2014), Opportunity collected a Microscopic Imager (MI) mosaic of the surface outcrop, called "Ash Meadows," then placed the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) for a multi-sol integration. On Sol 3659 (May 10, 2014), the rover drove just under 85 feet (26 meters) to the east, approaching a region of extended outcrop as a possible site for clay minerals. Also, Opportunity tested the new two-second spacecraft clock correction sequence. Over the next two sols, the rover collected an atmospheric argon measurement with the APXS and performed two more one-second-clock corrections.

On Sol 3662 (May 13, 2014), Opportunity bumped 7 feet (2 meters) forward to approach an exposed rock outcrop for further in-situ (contact) investigation.

As of Sol 3662, the solar array energy production was 761 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.621, and an improved solar array dust factor of 0.964. Perfectly clean solar arrays would have a dust factor of 1.0, so the larger the dust factor, the cleaner the arrays.

Total odometry is 24.49 miles (39.41 kilometers).



Daily Update - 5/12/14
Reset and Recovery
Opportunity Status for sol 3645-3649

Opportunity is exploring south of "Solander Point" on the west rim of Endeavour Crater. The rover is headed to a region of aluminum-hydroxyl clay minerals detected from orbit.

On Sol 3645 (April 25, 2014), Opportunity experienced a reset caused by write errors in flash (non-volatile) memory. As a result, the rover halted the sol's planned activities and waited for instructions from the ground. On Sol 3648 (April 29, 2014), the rover team sent commands to Opportunity to clear the fault conditions, to initialize both the high-gain antenna and the Pancam Mast Assembly, and to resume normal sequence control. Flash-induced resets have been seen three times before on Opportunity. Engineers are investigating the possible cause.

On Sol 3649 (April 30, 2014), the rover drove just over 230 feet (70 meters) southward. With backward driving, the rover's right-front wheel currents have returned to lower levels, compared to elevated currents experienced recently.

As of Sol 3649, solar-array energy production was 624 watt-hours, with an uncalibrated atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.293 and a solar-array dust factor of 0.832. Perfectly clean solar arrays would have a dust factor of 1.0, so the larger the dust factor, the cleaner the arrays.

Total odometry is 24.37 miles (39.22 kilometers).

Daily Update - 5/12/14
Aluminum Bound
Opportunity Status for sol 3650-3656

Opportunity is exploring south of "Solander Point" on the west rim of Endeavour Crater. The rover is approaching a region of aluminum-hydroxyl clay minerals detected from orbit.

On Sol 3650 (May 1, 2014), Opportunity drove more than 312 feet (95 meters), first straight southward, then southwestward, heading for the clays. With the rover conveniently near a ripple crest, on Sol 3652 (May 3, 2014), it performed a touch-and-go activity with the robotic arm. The arm's microscopic imager (MI) acquired images for a mosaic, then its alpha particle X-ray spectrometer (APXS) was placed for an overnight integration. On the next sol, Opportunity drove more than 199 feet (60 meters) to the southwest into the region of putative clay minerals.

On Sol 3655 (May 6, 2014), the rover bumped about 18 feet (5.5 meters) to reach an exposed rock outcrop. Also on Sol 3655, Opportunity began the first step of a process to correct for spacecraft clock drift. The clock has drifted during the rover's decade on Mars, and this affects some subsystems. Only a one-second correction was done on this sol. The team intends to correct the clock slowly, by just a few seconds each sol, to eventually remove all of the clock drift over the course of a year.

On Sol 3656 (May 7, 2014), the APXS performed an atmospheric argon measurement.

Motor currents on the right-front wheel have been well behaved since resumption of backward driving. As of Sol 3656, solar-array energy production is 689 watt-hours, with a re-calibrated atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.607 and an improved solar-array dust factor of 0.916. Perfectly clean solar arrays would have a dust factor of 1.0, so the larger the dust factor, the cleaner the arrays.

Total odometry is 24.47 miles (39.38 kilometers).

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