findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this material are
those of the developer, PASSPORT TO KNOWLEDGE, and do not necessarily
reflect those of the National Science Foundation.
PASSPORT TO KNOWLEDGE - To MARS with MER
Daily Updates - May 6, 2005
Opportunity Status at end of sol 449-455
Opportunity is imaging the plains and performing atmospheric science observations while waiting for engineers on Earth to give it the go-ahead to move. The team is diligently working to determine why Opportunity dug itself into a small dune, the best way to exit the dune, and what added precautions to use during future driving.
Sols 449 to 455 (April 29 to May 5, 2005):
In JPL's In-situ Instrument Laboratory sandbox, engineers, scientists and even the project manager have been mixing sandy and powdery materials, digging holes and building dunes. A mixture was concocted to simulate properties of the soil underneath Opportunity, using sand, clay and diatomaceous earth (silica-rich powder composed mainly of microscopic plant shells, used in these tests for its texture, not its fossil origin). The team wants to have a full understanding of how Opportunity will respond before commanding it to back out of its current position.