Comet Siding Spring



Opportunity Preps for Comet Siding Spring Encounter

File image: Comet Siding Spring.
Opportunity is on the west rim of Endeavour Crater heading towards “Marathon Valley,” a putative location for abundant clay minerals only a mile (1.6 kilometers) to the south.
The rover is examining the ejecta field of the small crater named “Ulysses.” On Sol 3793 (Sept. 24, 2014), the rover bumped 5.4 feet (1.65 meters) towards a surface target, called “Hoover,” collecting panoramic imagery before and after the drive.
A test of a twilight Panoramic Camera (Pancam) observation was performed as preparation for the observations Comet Siding Spring in a few weeks (Oct. 19, 2014).
That evening on Sol 3793, the rover experienced both an “amnesia” event and a reset of the rover. The reset cancelled all running sequences and put the rover into auto mode. The rover was healthy, so the project restored the rover to normal sequence operation on Sol 3795 (Sept. 26, 2014).
On that sol, Opportunity performed a Rock Abrasion Tool brush of the surface target Hoover, collected a Microscopic Imager mosaic of the brushed area, then placed the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer for an overnight integration. That evening, another amnesia event occurred, but was benign.
On Sol 3798 (Sept. 30, 2014), Opportunity bumped again, about 6.6 feet (2 meters), towards another surface target for in-situ (contact) investigation. The project continues to investigate the anomalous events associated with the Flash file system. Opportunity is otherwise in good health.
As of Sol 3798, the solar array energy production was 630 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.943 and a solar array dust factor of 0.735.
Total odometry is 25.34 miles (40.78 kilometers).