Mars Exploration Rover Update - December 1, 2006

OPPORTUNITY UPDATE: Passing the 1,000-Sol Mark - sol 996-1001,
December 1, 2006:

Opportunity is healthy and is driving to the promontory called “Cape
Mary.” From that vantage point, Opportunity will photograph the
sedimentary layers in the northeast-facing cliff of “Cape Verde,” thus
completing the imaging of both sides of the promontory in order to see
the continuity of the layers. Opportunity continues to take
long-baseline stereo images around the crater approximately every 10
meters (33 feet) in order to eventually acquire a detailed
three-dimensional map of the crater. Opportunity drove about 33 meters
(108 feet) on sol 994.

This week Opportunity is also celebrating its 1,000th sol anniversary

Sol-by-sol summaries:

Sol 996 (Nov. 12, 2006): Opportunity took a tau (atmospheric clarity)
measurement before its communication window with NASA’s Mars Odyssey
spacecraft. The rover also took a tau measurement at sunset. Since a
of data were onboard Opportunity, several sols during this period were
light on science in order to free up some of the rover’s flash memory.

Sol 997: The rover took two tau measurements this sol.

Sol 998: The rover took two tau measurements this sol.

Sol 999: Opportunity took a tau measurement, then headed toward the
St. Mary promontory. In the middle of that 7.5-meter (25-foot) drive,
the rover conducted a panoramic camera baseline test. After the drive,
the rover took images with its navigation camera. During the Odyssey
pass, the miniature thermal emission spectrometer completed an
examination of the area in front of the rover.

Sol 1000: In the morning, the rover’s panoramic camera took thumbnail
images of the sky. The miniature thermal emission spectrometer observed
sky and ground. Opportunity also took a tau measurement and used its
panoramic camera to survey the sun.

Sol 1001: In the morning, Opportunity looked for clouds and looked down
at its solar panels to monitor dust accumulation. The miniature thermal
emission spectrometer was busy assessing the ground and sky while the
panoramic camera surveyed the ground in front of the rover. Several tau
measurements were taken.

As of sol 1,000 (Nov. 16, 2006), Opportunity’s total odometry is 9,473
meters (5.89 miles).