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Daily Update - 7/13/07
Opportunity Waiting for Dust to Settle
Opportunity Status for sol 1220-1225

Due to extensive dust storms in Mars' southern hemisphere causing record atmospheric opacity levels, Opportunity is currently experiencing its lowest power levels to date. The tau measurement as of sol 1225 is 4.12, resulting in a mere 280 watt-hours of array energy. A tau measurement of 5.0 would result in approximately 150 watt-hours. If tau begins to approach 5.0, the team will have to begin deleting communications windows in order to conserve energy and keep from draining the batteries.

On sol 1223 Opportunity successfully recovered from the robotic arm joint stall that occurred on sol 1217.

When the dust settles, Opportunity will drive approximately 30 meters (98.4 feet) south along the edge of "Duck Bay" to position itself at its "Victoria Crater" entry point!

Sol-by-sol summary:

In addition to Opportunity's daily communications activities, the rover conducts: morning direct-from-Earth uplink over high-gain antenna, evening downlink relay with Mars Odyssey over UHF...

Sol 1220: The rover conducted atmospheric dust monitoring observations with the panoramic camera and then conserved power.

Sol 1221: The rover conducted atmospheric dust monitoring observations with the panoramic camera and then conserved power.

Sol 1222: The rover conducted atmospheric dust monitoring observations with the panoramic camera and then conserved power.

Sol 1223: On this sol, Opportunity used its microscopic imager, then retracted its robotic arm. This action was confirmed with the rover's navigation camera. The rover then closed the microscopic imager dust cover and confirmed this step with the navigation camera. Diagnostic testing on the arm stall was conducted.

Sol 1224: The rover conducted atmospheric dust monitoring observations with the panoramic camera and then conserved power.

Sol 1225: The rover conducted atmospheric dust monitoring observations with the panoramic camera and then conserved power.

Opportunity's total odometry is 11,424.67 meters (7.1 miles) as of sol 1225.

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