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Daily Updates - January 14, 2005
Opportunity Status at end of sol 314-346

Opportunity is healthy. It acquired microscopic images of the fractured edge of the heat-shield wreckage and began a detailed investigation of an intriguing, pitted rock a few meters to the north, called "Heat Shield Rock." The team continues to closely monitor orbital images for dust storms. The opacity of the atmosphere above Opportunity has averaged 0.75 with a slight downward (clearing) trend over the past week.

Sol-by-sol summaries: Sols 341 through 343 were combined in a three-sol plan for the Earth weekend. On sol 341, Opportunity used a morning Mars Odyssey pass for a communications relay at about 4 a.m. local solar time and then slept until solar-array wakeup at about 8:45 a.m. After another short nap, the rover did a bit of remote sensing and received its new commands for the sol. Opportunity deployed its robotic arm and acquired 96 microscopic images of the fractured edge of the heat shield. In the afternoon it used its Moessbauer spectrometer to analyze dust on the science filter magnet. It used the deep-sleep mode overnight. On sol 342, Opportunity woke from deep sleep at about 7 a.m. local solar time and restarted the Moessbauer integration on the magnet. It was a light day of activity with afternoon remote sensing, an evening Odyssey relay pass, and then deep-sleeping overnight. On sol 343, the rover restarted Moessbauer integration on the magnet and completed afternoon remote sensing before deep-sleeping.

On sol 344, Opportunity stowed its instrument deployment device (robotic arm) and backed up about 4 meters (13 feet) before acquiring a panorama of the heat shield and other remote sensing. The rover did not deep-sleep overnight in order utilize the morning Odyssey relay and return as much data as possible. The flash memory is relatively full.

On sol 345, Opportunity acquired additional navigation-camera images of the heat shield to support a future re-approach for additional microscopic imaging. It then turned and drove north toward "Heat Shield Rock," which has pits in its surface. The rover traversed about 10 meters (33 feet) and arrived at the desired 1-meter (about 3.3 feet) standoff distance to acquire remote sensing of the rock. Opportunity used the energy-conserving deep-sleep mode overnight.

Sol 346 - Opportunity acquired additional remote sensing and then bumped forward, putting the rock within the work volume of the tools on the instrument deployment device. The rover took advantage of an early-morning communications pass, so it did not deep-sleep overnight.

Opportunity Daily Update Archive