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PASSPORT TO KNOWLEDGE - To MARS with MER

Daily Updates - May 17, 2004
Opportunity Status at end of sol 107-111

On sol 107, Opportunity successfully drilled a hole into "Lion Stone" with the rock abrasion tool. Since the surface of the rock was fairly uneven, the tool had to work through some high spots before getting a good bite on the rock for a full circular hole. Sol 107 ended at 6:44 a.m. May 13 PDT, with a nighttime integration of the alpha particle X-ray spectrometer to reveal elemental composition of the inner part of the rock.

On Sol 108, which ended at 7:24 a.m. May 14, PDT, the rover finished up its work on Lion Stone by analyzing the rock abrasion tool hole with the Moessbauer spectrometer and taking microscopic images to create a mosaic of the hole. Opportunity then moved away from Lion Stone and continued traversing counterclockwise around the crater. Opportunity drove 32 meters (105 feet) to the top of a small ridge for a better view of where to drive on Sol 109.

On Sol 109 and sol 110, which ended at 8:04 a.m. May 15, PDT, and 8:43 a.m. May 16, PDT, respectively, Opportunity drove about 41 meters (135 feet) each sol. Opportunity ended the drive on May 16 with a "scuff" of the soil and rocks under the front wheel. This scuff action produced an interesting dislodged plate of some kind. The scientists will be making some additional observations of different pebbles on the ground in the sol 111 plan.

Opportunity is driving along the south edge of Endurance Crater, with a southward tilt of about 8 degrees. The Sun is now at higher latitudes (south hemisphere winter is coming), so a southward tilt robs the rover of total solar array energy. This is making it more difficult to perform many activities. In a couple of sols when Opportunity drives to flatter ground near the crater edge to take the next large panorama, the energy situation is expected to improve.

Opportunity has driven a total of 1,170 meters (3,839 feet or 0.7 miles).

Opportunity Daily Update Archive