Opportunity Rover Inspecting 'Bellemont'

Feb 26, 2006
Mars in 2003, from the Hubble Space Telescope

Opportunity has completed its work on the "Olympia" outcrop. This week's activities included a Moessbauer spectrometer integration on target "Rough Rider," an alpha particle X-ray spectrometer integration on target "Fala," and a short drive to "Bellemont." Also the rover took microscopic imager mosaics of four targets at Bellemont.

A team continuing to study occasional problems with the shoulder joint in Opportunity's robotic arm planned a series of diagnostic motions for the arm for sol 735.

Sol-by-sol summaries:

Sol 729 (Feb. 10, 2006): Opportunity continued using the Moessbauer spectrometer on Rough Rider and performed targeted remote sensing.

Sol 730: The rover finished using the Moessbauer spectrometer on Rough Rider, made atmospheric observations, and used the alpha particle X-ray spectrometer overnight on target Fala.

Sol 731: The rover stowed its arm, made a short drive to Bellemont and then unstowed the arm. This pattern of stow, drive and unstow is what the team intends to use for longer drives.

Sol 732: Opportunity used the microscopic imager at Bellemont. Four targets were identified. Opportunity acquired images of three ("Vicos," "Tara" and "Chaco") before a stall in the shoulder joint's azimuth motor halted the sequence.

Sol 733: Opportunity continued using the microscopic imager at Bellemont. Opportunity acquired images from the fourth target ("Verdun"), but a stall stopped the arm before it could get the last two planned images of the Chaco target.

Sol 734: The plan for this sol was to stow the arm, drive about 36 meters (118 feet) to an area known as "Zane Grey," and unstow the arm. The arm stalled just before it reached the ready position (before stowing), and the drive did not occur.

Sol 735 (Feb. 16, 2006): The plan for this sol includes remote sensing and a short diagnostic activity for the arm.

Total odometry as of sol 735: 6518.87 meters (4.05 miles)

Copyright 2006 by Space Daily, Distributed United Press International

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