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Daily Update - 7/31/06
Cleaning Event Gives Opportunity Renewed Energy
Opportunity Status for sol 886-892

Opportunity spent five sols this week at a target called "Joseph McCoy." At this location, the rover acquired about 41 hours of Moessbauer spectrometer integration, almost seven hours of alpha particle X-ray spectrometer integration, and a mosaic from the microscopic imager. Then Opportunity rolled back, scuffed the soil, and drove 55 meters (180 feet) closer to "Beagle Crater." The scuff helps scientists and engineers analyze how the wheels interact with the soil. After the most recent drive, Opportunity is sitting about 25 meters (82 feet) from the rim of Beagle Crater.

Over the past 50 sols the team noticed a gradual cleaning of the solar panels similar to a more-sudden cleaning event experienced one Mars-year ago in "Endurance Crater." Removal of some of the accumulated dust on the panels allows greater production of electricity from sunlight. Opportunity's solar panels are now producing just over 500 watt-hours per sol.

Sol-by-sol summaries:

Sol 886 (June 22, 2006): Opportunity took microscopic images and an alpha particle X-ray spectrometer reading of the target Joseph McCoy. During the afternoon communication-relay session with NASA's Mars Odyssey orbiter, the rover observed the sky and ground with the miniature thermal emission spectrometer to profile temperatures of the atmosphere and surface. This sol also included a 13-filter panoramic image of a feature called "Jesse Chisholm" and an abbreviated morning observation of the sky and ground with the miniature thermal emission spectrometer.

Sol 887: Opportunity took a Moessbauer reading of Joseph McCoy and a panoramic camera image of "Sand Sheet" (shot to the south to determine a path to Beagle). In the morning, the rover looked for clouds and made atmospheric measurements.

Sol 888: Opportunity continued the Moessbauer examination of Joseph McCoy and conducted a miniature thermal emission spectrometer stare at Jesse Chisholm. The rover checked for clouds and assessed a temperature profile of the atmosphere.

Sol 889: The rover restarted the Moessbauer spectrometer, used the miniature thermal emission spectrometer for a seven-point sky and ground observation, and checked for clouds with the navigation camera.

Sol 890: Opportunity restarted the Mössbauer spectrometer and did two stares at soil with the miniature thermal emission spectrometer. The rover then stopped the Moessbauer observation and changed tools to the alpha particle X-ray spectrometer before the Odyssey pass. The rover began collecting X-ray spectrometer data on a target called "Ignatius."

Sol 891: Opportunity rolled back 1.5 meters (5 feet) and scuffed soil with its left-front wheel. The rover then conducted mid-drive imaging, completing a 13-filter panoramic camera image of the robotic arm's work area and the scuff. The rover drove 55 meters (180 feet) towards Beagle Crater. Post-drive imaging included a panoramic camera mosaic and navigation camera image mosaics in the forward and rear directions.

Sol 892 (July 28, 2006): Plans call for Opportunity to aim the navigation camera in the direction of the calibration target and take pictures of the sky, checking for clouds. Also, the rover is to use the miniature thermal emission spectrometer to profile near-surface and atmospheric temperatures.

Opportunity's total odometry as of sol 892 is 8,660.44 meters (5.38 miles).

Daily Update - 7/31/06
NASA's Spirit Rover Survives Record Cold on Mars
Spirit Status for sol 908-914

Spirit remains healthy and continues to make progress on computer upgrades and scientific research, despite winter temperatures colder than any yet experienced during the rover's two and a half years on Mars. Models show that at the coldest part of the Martian night, around 5:00 a.m. Mars time, temperatures near the surface have dipped to approximately minus 97 degrees Celsius (minus 143 degrees Fahrenheit).

With the deepest part of the Martian winter just around the corner, Spirit is collecting about 284 watt-hours of electrical power each sol from the rover's solar array (a hundred watt-hours is the amount of electricity needed to light one 100-watt bulb for one hour). The shortest day, winter solstice in Mars' southern hemisphere, will arrive on Aug. 8, 2006. The lowest amount of solar energy the rover is expected to receive is about 275 watt-hours per sol.

Spirit has put the finishing touches on a new version of its flight software -- assembling, checking, and saving 200 sections of computer code transmitted from Earth in recent weeks. The software upgrade will give the rover enhanced autonomous operational capabilities. NASA plans for Spirit to switch from its current flight software to the new version in coming weeks.

Meanwhile, Spirit is only one frame away from completing the long-anticipated "McMurdo panorama," a full-color, 360-degree view of the rover's winter haven amid the "Columbia Hills" in Gusev Crater on Mars. The collection of images from the panoramic camera, as with all scientific data, has taken extra time to complete with the sun lower on the horizon and solar power levels on the wane. During the week, Spirit also used the microscopic imager to get a closer look at a small ripple nicknamed "Palmer."

For the next several weeks until Labor Day, Spirit will communicate with Earth only using UHF-band relay via NASA's Mars Odyssey orbiter. The X-band Spirit uses for communicating directly with Earth will not be available while that frequency is used intensively by NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter in the final stages of trimming its orbit around Mars.

Sol-by-sol summaries

Sol 908 (July 23, 2006): Spirit took microscopic images of Palmer.

Sol 909: Spirit continued work on the McMurdo panorama and used its miniature thermal emission spectrometer to study a rock target known as "Korolev2."

Sol 910: Spirit continued work on the McMurdo panorama and cleaned and calibrated the rock abrasion tool.

Sol 911: Spirit continued work on the McMurdo panorama and gathered remote-sensing information about a target known as "Druzhnaya."

Sol 912: Spirit continued work on the McMurdo panorama.

Sol 913: Spirit took microscopic images of a target known as "Palmer2."

Sol 914 (June 29, 2006): Plans call for Spirit to continue work on the McMurdo panorama.

Odometry

As of sol 911 (July 26, 2006), Spirit's total odometry remained at 6,876.18 meters (4.27 miles).

Daily Update - 7/24/06
Bounding Toward 'Beagle Crater'
Opportunity Status for sol 879-885

Opportunity is healthy and is driving toward "Beagle Crater," which is about 50 meters (164 feet) away as of sol 884 (July 20). "Victoria Crater" is about 510 meters (just over a quarter of a mile) away. The rover used its panoramic camera, microscopic imager and alpha particle X-ray spectrometer on soil target "Westport," (soil without spherules in a wheel scuff) in order to provide the science team with a soil sample outside the vast, outlying rim of Victoria Crater. A step in upgrading the flight software was successfully completed on sol 881. Opportunity drove about 106 meters (348 feet) between sols 878 and 884.

Sol-by-sol summaries:

Sol 879 (July 14, 2006): Opportunity examined the soil target Westport with its panoramic camera, microscopic imager and alpha particle X-ray spectrometer. The rover also completed a panoramic camera observation of "Dallas," a disturbed patch in the tracks intended to be similar to the spots examined with the contact instruments. A target referred to as "Waco," a raised patch of outcrop that may be a crater, was also examined with the panoramic camera. Work was completed for the flight software build, which is the assembling and validating of many files of new software transmitted to the rover in preceding weeks.

Sol 880: The rover took a microscopic image of an undisturbed soil target, "Fort Graham," and completed a Moessbauer spectrometer integration on Westport. The miniature thermal emission spectrometer observed a block of ejecta (material ejected from a crater) called "Preston." The panoramic camera checked the clarity of the atmosphere. Part of the flight software build took place this sol.

Sol 881: The Moessbauer integration continued this sol on Westport. A 13-filter panoramic camera image was taken of Preston and "Red Rock," another ejecta block. Opportunity profiled the atmosphere and near-surface temperature with its miniature thermal emission spectrometer. That instrument was also used to analyze Dallas.

Sol 882: Due to the planned loss of use of the Deep Space Network on this sol, some data was left onboard: a panoramic camera mosaic of the area behind the rover, dust monitoring data, sky thumbnail images and a measurement of atmospheric clarity.

Sol 883: Opportunity took a pre-drive panoramic camera image of Fort Graham and a ripple band. The miniature thermal emission spectrometer was used to profile the atmosphere in the morning. The rover then drove about 37 meters (121 feet).

Sol 884: The rover drove about 40 meters (131 feet). A navigation camera picture was taken of "Jesse Chisholm," a dark mound about 35 meters (115 feet) from the location the rover reached on sol 883. The miniature thermal emission spectrometer completed an observation of the area around the rover. The panoramic camera was also used to characterize the location.

Sol 885 (July 21): The rover drove back and forth to create a scuff in the surface material to examine the soil underneath. It was then commanded to approach Jesse Chisholm, the next target for examining with the instruments on the robotic arm.

Opportunity's total odometry as of the end of the drive on sol 884 (July 20) was 8,599.14 meters (5.34 miles).

Daily Update - 7/21/06
Spirit Clears Away Dust, Gets New Software Upgrade
Spirit Status for sol 904-907

Beginning July 22, 2006, in the early hours of the rover's 907th Martian day, Spirit is scheduled to begin knitting together and testing all 200 pieces of a new flight software package transmitted to the rover in recent weeks. Spirit remains healthy despite experiencing lower amounts of solar energy during the Martian winter.

The deepest part of the Martian winter – that is, the Martian winter solstice – will be on Aug. 8, 2006. The lowest amount of solar energy the rover is expected to receive is 275 watt-hours per sol (a hundred watt-hours is the amount of electricity needed to light one 100-watt bulb for one hour). The rover typically spends at least one sol recharging the batteries following each sol of heavy science activities.

During sols 904 through 907, Spirit continued work on the "McMurdo panorama," examined rock target "Halley Brunt" with the microscopic imager, and took atmospheric measurements with the miniature thermal emission spectrometer.

Spirit also completed a test of the rock abrasion tool. Rover handlers ran the grind motor on the rock abrasion tool backward three times to remove a clod of dust that was thought to be interfering with the operation of the device. After running the motor backward for three seconds at three different voltages -- 5 volts, 8 volts, and 10 volts -- engineers concluded that the tool was operating normally and that it either never had a problem or dislodged whatever was stuck beneath the bit.

Sol-by-sol summaries

Sol 904 (July 19, 2006): Spirit monitored atmospheric dust with the panoramic camera and acquired a mosaic of microscopic images of a rock and soil target known as "Halley Brunt Offset1." The rover ran the rock abrasion tool backward to remove dust. In preparation for traversing and collecting data from a laminated patch of soil known as "Palmer," the rover suspended the Moessbauer spectrometer above the target and documented the position of the instrument with the hazard avoidance cameras. Spirit continued to make progress on the McMurdo mosaic, acquiring one frame of column 24.

Sol 905: Spirit monitored atmospheric dust with the panoramic camera, acquired another frame of column 24 of the McMurdo panorama, checked for drift (changes with time) in the pointing of the miniature thermal emission spectrometer, and surveyed the sky and ground with the miniature thermal emission spectrometer.

Sol 906: Commands for uplink on sol 906 call for Spirit to monitor atmospheric dust with the panoramic camera. The plan also includes Spirit's task for the morning of sol 907, before that morning's uplink. This task is for Spirit to build the rover's new flight software package, a process that entails assembling, validating, and saving many thousands of lines of computer code sent from Earth in small packages during the past few weeks.

Sol 907 (July 22, 2006): Plans called for Spirit to monitor atmospheric dust with the panoramic camera and check for drift (changes with time) in the pointing of the miniature thermal emission spectrometer. Spirit was also scheduled to conduct surveys of the sky and ground with the miniature thermal emission spectrometer and acquire the first frame of column 25 of the McMurdo pan.

Odometry

As of sol 904 (July 19, 2006), Spirit's total odometry remained at 6,876.18 meters (4.27 miles).

Daily Update - 7/20/06
Next Stop: 'Beagle Crater'
Opportunity Status for sol 872-878

Opportunity is healthy and continued driving towards "Beagle Crater," which is about 140 meters (459 feet) away as of sol 877 (July 12, 2006). The upload of the flight software files was completed on sol 876, and the flight software build process is currently planned for sols 879-881. Opportunity supported a coordinated overflight with the Mars Express orbiter on sol 877 and drove a total of about 46 meters (151 feet) between sols 872-877.

Sol-by-sol summaries:

Sol 872 (July 7, 2006): Opportunity used its panoramic camera for some targeted investigations this sol, then had a communication session with the Mars Odyssey orbiter. The rover also completed a miniature thermal emission spectrometer sky and ground observation.

Sol 873: On this sol, an attempt to cross a ripple to the southeast (in order to head towards Beagle Crater) was prematurely halted because the rover appropriately determined that it was making too little progress over the ripple. The rover also did some dust monitoring with its panoramic camera mast assembly (the rover's "head" and "neck"), and conducted some morning atmospheric science, including a sky and ground observation with the miniature thermal emission spectrometer. Opportunity also did a calibration of that instrument on this sol.

Sol 874: Opportunity used its panoramic camera to survey the ground, then took a picture with its navigation camera to determine where to point the miniature thermal emission spectrometer. The miniature thermal emission spectrometer was also used to observe the sky and ground. The panoramic camera took thumbnail images of the sky.

Sol 875: On this sol, the rover successfully backed away from the ripple that saw 80 percent slip on sol 873. Opportunity used its panoramic camera and miniature thermal emission spectrometer on a distant potential meteorite; those instruments also completed an observation of the sky and ground.

Sol 876: The rover drove southwesterly towards the edge of a ripple about 15 meters (49 feet) away to evaluate whether the outcrop adjacent to the ripple is reachable, and whether there is a path from the outcrop towards Beagle Crater. The rover also searched for clouds with its navigation camera and observed the sky and ground with its miniature thermal emission spectrometer.

Sol 877: Opportunity drove about 25 meters (82 feet) on an outcrop path towards Beagle Crater. The rover did a "quick find attitude" at the end of the drive, which updates its physical position. The rover supported a Mars Express overflight, and did remote sensing with its panoramic camera and miniature thermal emission spectrometer.

Sol 878: The rover drove about 25 meters (82 feet) towards Beagle Crater. Opportunity performed elevation sky and ground surveys during the Mars Odyssey pass and miniature thermal emission spectrometer sky and ground stares in the morning. A panoramic camera survey in front of the rover will be conducted to help pick a soil target for this weekend's robotic arm activity.

Odometry total as of Sol 877's drive: 8,493.72 meters (5.28 miles).

Daily Update - 7/18/06
Spirit to Get New Robotic Capabilities as Martian Winter Turns to Spring
Spirit Status for sol 897-904

This week Spirit greeted the 900th day, or sol, of exploration on Mars. Spirit is healthy and continues to make science observations despite winter power limitations. One file of a new software upgrade remains to be transmitted to the rover. Rover handlers plan to have Spirit start using the new software sometime in mid-August. The upgrade will enable the rover to process images more quickly and focus on a single target more efficiently and, when solar power levels increase again, demonstrate new robotic autonomous capabilities.

While studying images from the panoramic and hazard avoidance cameras to characterize dirt buildup on the rock abrasion tool, science and engineering team members discovered a possible small clod of dirt lodged in the device. They are considering running the rock abrasion tool backward in an attempt to dislodge it.

Solar array input was down to about 280 watt-hours per sol (a hundred watt-hours is the amount of electricity needed to light one 100-watt bulb for one hour).

Sol-by-sol summary

Sol 897 (July 12, 2006): Spirit acquired panoramic camera images of a rock believed to be a meteorite known as "Zhong Shan."

Sol 898: Spirit acquired panoramic camera images of a dark rock known as "Orcadas."

Sol 899: Spirit acquired images with the panoramic camera for the "McMurdo panorama."

Sol 900: Plans called for Spirit to monitor atmospheric dust with the panoramic camera.

Sol 901: Plans called for continued analysis of the soil target known as "Halley" with the alpha particle X-ray spectrometer.

Sol 902: Spirit was scheduled to collect more images for the McMurdo panorama.

Sol 903: Plans called for Spirit to recharge the batteries.

Sols 904 (July 19, 2006): Plans called for reverse operation of the rock abrasion tool to attempt to dislodge something that looks like a clod of dirt.

Odometry

As of sol 898 (July 13, 2006), Spirit's total odometry was at 6,876.18 meters (4.27 miles).

Daily Update - 7/11/06
Getting Closer to 'Victoria Crater'
Opportunity Status for sol 867-871

Opportunity is healthy. This week, Opportunity continued uplinking its new flight software load and driving toward "Victoria Crater." Opportunity completed three more drives toward the large crater on sols 869 (July 4, 2006), 870 and 871. As of Sol 870, Opportunity is approximately 115 meters (377 feet) from "Beagle Crater" and about 600 meters (just over one-third of a mile) from Victoria Crater.

Sol-by-sol summaries

Sol 867 (July 2, 2006): Opportunity took a panoramic camera tau, which is a measurement of opacity, and then a panoramic camera image of the target referred to as "Austin." The miniature thermal emission spectrometer was used for a sky and ground observation and to investigate the target "McKinney."

Sol 868: The panoramic camera aboard Opportunity was busy this sol, imaging targets McKinney, "Baxter Springs" and "Fort Gibson." The miniature thermal emission spectrometer looked at McKinney, the sky and ground, as well as the calibration target on the rover. The panoramic camera also took a tau before communicating with the Mars Odyssey spacecraft. In the morning, a miniature thermal emission spectrometer drift check was conducted to calibrate the instrument's elevation actuator (to remove any drift).

Sol 869: This sol saw Opportunity on the move again. The rover first took a tau with its panoramic camera, stowed its robotic arm and then drove. After the drive, the rover unstowed its arm and completed post-drive imaging with its panoramic and navigational cameras. The miniature thermal emission spectrometer examined the sky and ground.

Sol 870: Opportunity essentially repeated the previous sol's activities, completing a panoramic camera tau, robotic arm stow, drive, unstow, post-drive imaging and use of the miniature thermal emission spectrometer to examine the sky and ground. A drift check was also conducted on the miniature thermal emission spectrometer's elevation actuator.

Sol 871: The morning of this sol involved using the rover's panoramic camera to do an intensive systematic ground survey. Opportunity also drove again this sol after taking a panoramic camera tau. After the drive was completed, the rover took images with its navigation camera and a tau with the panoramic camera. The miniature thermal emission spectrometer examined the sky and ground. In the morning, the panoramic camera was used to quantify sky brightness in the west and, in the afternoon, another drift check was conducted on the miniature thermal emission spectrometer's elevation actuator.

Odometry total as of Sol 870 (July 5, 2006): 8,421.65 meters (5.23 miles).

Daily Update - 7/7/06
Spirit Continues Work As Martian Days Grow Shorter
Spirit Status for sol 889-896

Spirit has been busy receiving new flight software upgrades, both directly from Earth via the rover's high-gain antenna and indirectly via relay from NASA's Odyssey spacecraft. Engineers anticipated that all flight software upgrades would be on board the rover by early in the week of July 10, 2006.

Spirit also successfully completed a procedure to correct for drift in the inertial measurement unit, resulting in more accurate pointing of the miniature thermal emission spectrometer. Spirit remains healthy and continues to make progress on the rover's winter science campaign of experiments.

Spirit's handlers planned to have the rover spend part of the weekend calibrating the brush on the rock abrasion tool, using images from the panoramic camera and hazard avoidance cameras to characterize dirt buildup on the instrument.

Solar array input was down to about 290 watt-hours per sol (a hundred watt-hours is the amount of electricity needed to light one 100-watt bulb for one hour).

Sol-by-sol summaries

Sol 889 (July 4, 2006): Spirit studied the rock target "Halley" with the Moessbauer spectrometer.

Sol 890: Spirit calibrated the elevation actuator (a motor that controls horizontal tilt) in the miniature thermal emission spectrometer.

Sol 891: Spirit made observations with the miniature thermal emission spectrometer.

Sol 892: Engineers transmitted an uplink of flight software files via X-band radio to the rover's high-gain antenna.

Sol 893: Plans call for Spirit to calibrate and take images of the rock abrasion tool.

Sols 894 to 896 (July 9 to 11, 2006): Plans call for Spirit to continue acquiring panoramic camera images for the "McMurdo Panorama."

Odometry

As of sol 891 (July 6, 2006), Spirit's total odometry remained at 6,876.18 meters (4.27 miles).

Daily Update - 7/5/06
Spirit Copes with Decreasing Solar Energy
Spirit Status for sol 881-888

With electrical power from Spirit's solar array down to about 300 watt-hours per Martian day, or sol, the science team is able to plan only one major activity per sol and often needs to devote one sol to recharging the rover's batteries. (A hundred watt-hours is the amount of electricity needed to light one 100-watt bulb for one hour.) Spirit remains healthy and continues to make progress on the winter science campaign.

Engineers successfully uploaded half of a new flight software upgrade and planned to take advantage of overflights by NASA's Odyssey orbiter to transmit more flight software files via UHF frequencies.

The rover team created a new technique for correcting drift (changes with time) in the rover's inertial measurement unit, which affects the pointing accuracy of the miniature thermal emission spectrometer. The IMU provides roll, pitch, and yaw information to the rover. Typically, rover handlers minimize error by having the rover complete a sequence of steps known as a "get fine attitude" based on the changing position of the sun relative to the rover. The rover then takes images with the hazard avoidance and navigation cameras, which provide guidance for positioning the robotic arm and driving as well as documenting the correction. The entire process takes about one hour, which at present is roughly equivalent to a week of winter science operations. Between these updates, the rover's onboard computer keeps track of attitude changes, but error builds up in this calculation over time.

The new process involves sending a command to Spirit with the position reported by the rover after the last quick "get fine attitude," on sol 855 (May 30, 2006). Rover drivers confirmed that the rover had not moved since then by checking images from the hazard avoidance cameras. Following the usual attitude adjustment, the team planned to direct the rover to take two new images with the navigation camera and compare those to images from sol 855 as an additional means of verifying the accuracy of the adjustment.

Sol-by-sol summaries

Sol 881 (June 25, 2006): Rover handlers spent one hour transmitting flight software files to Spirit via X-band frequencies using the rover's high-gain antenna.

Sol 882: Spirit completed a "bitty cloud" search designed to look for changes in the Martian sky, a photon transfer observation to measure electronic noise (unwanted signals) picked up by CCDs (charge-coupled devices -- imaging sensors that convert light into electrical current) in the left eye of the rover's panoramic camera, and observations of ground targets and atmosphere with the miniature thermal emission spectrometer.

Sol 883: Spirit conducted a 5-hour observation of the rock target "Halley" with the Moessbauer spectrometer. The rover also conducted morning atmospheric studies.

Sol 884: Spirit completed a photon transfer observation of the right eye of the panoramic camera.

Sol 885: Plans called for Spirit to conduct atmospheric studies of the Martian sky and ground using the panoramic camera and miniature thermal emission spectrometer. The rover's schedule also included another 5-hour study of Halley with the Moessbauer spectrometer.

Sol 886: Plans called for Spirit to conduct more "bitty cloud" observations, collect remote observations of the sky and ground with the miniature thermal emission spectrometer, set the rover attitude, and calibrate the high-gain antenna.

Sol 887: Plans called for Spirit to acquire a single frame of column 21 of the "McMurdo panorama."

Sol 888 (July 3, 2006): Plans called for Spirit to recharge the batteries and make morning atmospheric studies.

Odometry

As of sol 884 (June 28, 2006), Spirit's total odometry remained at 6,876.18 meters (4.27 miles).

Daily Update - 7/5/06
Full Plate for Opportunity
Opportunity Status for sol 859-866

Opportunity is healthy. Opportunity has had a full plate with a new flight software load being uplinked and the rover driving towards "Victoria Crater." Despite this busy schedule, Opportunity has been taking advantage of every remote sensing window to acquire good science.

Opportunity is continuing the uplink of its new flight software load with almost half of the required files already onboard. Starting with Sol 865, flight software load files are being sent through the Mars Odyssey forward link path in addition to the X-band high-gain antenna path.

Opportunity has completed three more drives towards "Victoria Crater." As of Sol 862 (June 27, 2006), the river was 202 meters (663 feet) from "Beagle Crater" and 705 meters (0.44 mile) from Victoria Crater.

The Moessbauer spectrometer instrument has begun to show some minor anomalies although no degradation is noted in the actual measurement channels. As time permits, the team has been conducting diagnostics to troubleshoot the issue.

Sol-by-sol summaries

Sol 859 (June 24, 2006): Opportunity used the panoramic camera to take images and check the clarity of the atmosphere ("tau"). It completed a cloud observation with the navigation camera and used its miniature thermal emission spectrometer.

Sol 860: The rover assessed tau with the panoramic camera then drove. After the drive, Opportunity took images with the navigation camera and panoramic camera. The rover then used its miniature thermal emission spectrometer to observe the sky and ground. After a communication-relay session with NASA's Mars Odyssey orbiter passing over, the rover observed the sky with the panoramic camera and used the miniature thermal emission spectrometer.

Sol 861: The panoramic camera assessed tau and surveyed the horizon. The rover then conducted observations with its miniature thermal emission spectrometer.

Sol 862: The rover assessed tau with the panoramic camera, drove, then took pictures from its new location. During communication with Odyssey, Opportunity used its miniature thermal emission spectrometer. After communicating with Odyssey, the rover did some diagnostic testing and looked at dust accumulation. After that, the rover looked at the sky with its panoramic camera and gathered data with the miniature thermal emission spectrometer.

Sol 863: Opportunity assessed tau with the panoramic camera and conducted observations with the miniature thermal emission spectrometer.

Sol 864: The rover assessed tau with the panoramic camera, drove, and took post-drive images and another tau measurement. It also used the miniature thermal emission spectrometer.

Sol 865: Opportunity's panoramic camera assessed tau and scanned the horizon. The miniature thermal emission spectrometer was used to observe the sky and ground.

Sol 866 (July 1, 2006): Plans included assessing tau with the panoramic camera and using the miniature thermal emission spectrometer.

Odometry total as of sol 862 (June 27, 2006): 8,312.92 meters (5.17 miles).

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