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Daily Updates - March 6, 2004
Opportunity Status at end of sol 41

In its 41st sol on Mars, ending at 10:02 a.m. Saturday, PST, NASA's Opportunity inspected a rock target called "Wave Ripple" with tools on its arm, then drove to a new target. The new target, "Flat Rock," is in the "Slick Rock" area near the south end of the outcrop that the rover has been examining for weeks.

Although the rover wheels slip some in the local soil and the drive traversed a slope of 10 to 11 percent, Opportunity and engineers at JPL navigated the trip so well that a planned final approach to the target on sol 42 could be cancelled. The target is within the work volume of Opportunity's robotic arm. The drive was done in a series of one-meter (3.3-foot) segments making up a U-shaped path to the south and west. Each segment included a correction for slippage.

Before starting the drive, Opportunity used its microscope for 50 images of "Wave Ripple," and examined the composition of the rock with its alpha proton X-ray spectrometer and its Moessbauer spectrometer.

Rover controllers spun Willie Nelson's "On the Road Again" as the sol's wake-up song, and used a compressed planning schedule as practice for procedures that might become standard after the 90-sol prime mission.

Plans for sol 42, ending at 10:51 a.m. Sunday, PST, include using the rock abrasion tool at "Flat Rock."

Opportunity Daily Update Archive