The rover team has kept Opportunity productive while engineers continue to evaluate the best posture for carrying the robotic arm when the rover resumes driving.
The arm's position can be manipulated for full use of all the tools on the arm despite symptoms that suggest a broken wire in the winding of a shoulder-joint motor of the arm. The choice of a new position for carrying the arm during drives is a precaution against having the arm stuck in a stowed position if that motor becomes unusable in the future.
Opportunity's recent activities have included imaging of Jupiter, observing the atmosphere on every sol, progress on a multi-filter panorama of "Erebus Crater," and long integrations with the Moessbauer spectrometer and alpha particle X-ray spectrometer on targets "Ted" and "Hunt."
Sols 681 to 683 (Dec. 23 to Dec. 25, 2005): Moessbauer spectrometer integration on - Ted, panoramic camera observations and atmospheric observations.
Sol 684: Post-brush microscopic image of Ted and Moessbauer integration on Ted.
Sol 685: Moessbauer integration on Ted and panoramic camera images of targets "Claypool," "Paulden" and "Vernon".
Sol 686: Arm move to Hunt plus microscopic image of Hunt and alpha particle X-ray spectrometer integration.
Sols 687 to 690: Moessbauer integration on Hunt and remote sensing.
Sol 691: Rock abrasion tool grind of Ted, post-grind microscopic imaging of Ted, and Moessbauer integration on Ted.
Sols 692 to 694 (Jan. 3 to Jan. 5, 2006): Continued Moessbauer integration on Ted and more images for the Erebus panorama.
Copyright 2006 by Space Daily, Distributed United Press International
Explore further: Innovative use of pressurant extends MESSENGER's mission, enables collection of new data