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Daily Updates - May 13, 2005
Opportunity Status at end of sol 456-463

Opportunity has started moving its wheels again after a couple weeks of holding still while taking some amazing images. While waiting for the rover team to finish tests for planning the best strategy for driving out of a sand trap, Opportunity has been busy taking a comprehensive color panorama of the area. On sol 461 (May 11), Opportunity straightened its wheels. After checking data and images confirming the success of that move, the team planned commands for beginning to rotate the wheels on sol 463 (May 13). The rover is healthy and ready to go.

Sol 456 - 460 The rover's situation, dug into a sand dune, limited in the amount and type of science possible. While sitting here, Opportunity has taken the opportunity to take a 360 panorama of the area called "Rub al Khali," a name meaning the "empty quarter," from a region of the Arabian Peninsula with that name. During sol 456, power engineer Eric Wood happily recognized a cleaning event. Winds removed some dust from solar panels and Opportunity's daily energy supply increased to about 650 watt-hours, from a recent range of about 620 to 630 watt-hours.

Sol 461: Today Opportunity was allowed to position its wheels to their egress direction. The plan is for the rover to leave the sand trap with an arc, moving forward and slightly to the left. The wheels were placed in that position. Before this sol's steering move, the wheels were in position from a turn in place that was Opportunity's last attempted move on sol 446.

Sol 462: Opportunity is still in restricted sols, and is precluded from driving today, so the rover spent the day taking some additional panoramic camera frames of Rub al Khali.

Sol 463 (May 13): After confirming the new position of the wheels, the team proceeded with plans for Opportunity to rotate its wheels about two and a half times on sol 463. Results from that move will be evaluated before rotating them some more.

Opportunity Daily Update Archive