Mars Exploration Rover Update - April 29, 2006

OPPORTUNITY UPDATE: Opportunity Hits 800 Sol Mark! - sol 796-803,
Apr 29, 2006:

Opportunity is healthy and making good progress towards “Victoria
Crater,” with just under 1,400 meters (.86 mile) to go. The team spent
several days this week setting up for some robotic arm work over the
weekend, provided there is a good piece of outcrop in the work volume.
Opportunity will continue driving next week.

Sol-by-sol summaries:

Sol 796 (April 20, 2006): Opportunity ended a drive after 2 meters
(about 7 feet). Imaging taken before and after the drive was completed.

Sol 797: The rover conducted untargeted remote science, including
panoramic camera and miniature thermal emission spectrometer ground
surveys and atmospheric measurements.

Sol 798: The rover completed targeted remote science, including
panoramic camera images of targets “Junction City,” “Chetopa,”
“Coffeyville” and “Salina,” and miniature thermal emission spectrometer
stares of “Junction City” and “Salina.”

Sol 799: Opportunity had a great drive today, traveling approximately
meters (144 feet).

Sol 800(April 24, 2006): Happy 800! Opportunity drove 33.5 meters (110
feet) today, crossing a few small ripples and driving over an outcrop.

Sol 801: After taking a pre-drive image, Opportunity drove 28.3 meters
(93 feet), down a couple of troughs and over a couple of ripples. Slip
checks were used to prevent excessive driving in potentially slippery

Sol 802: This sol’s 13.8 meter (45 feet) drive was designed to move
Opportunity closer to some outcrop the team would like to analyze with
the robotic arm over the weekend.

Sol 803: The outcrop that ended up in the rover’s work volume was
fragmented, and not a desirable target. Rover planners designed a short
8-meter (26 feet) drive to a better target. The data from this drive
received on Earth early Friday (April 28, 2006).

As of Sol 802, Opportunity’s total odometry was 7,456.56 meters (4.63