Mars Exploration Rover Update - June 30, 2006

http://marsrovers.jpl.nasa.gov/mission/status.html#opportunity

OPPORTUNITY UPDATE: Full Plate for Opportunity - sol 859-866, June 30,
2006:

Opportunity is healthy. Opportunity has had a full plate with a new
flight software load being uplinked and the rover driving towards
“Victoria Crater.” Despite this busy schedule, Opportunity has been
taking advantage of every remote sensing window to acquire good
science.

Opportunity is continuing the uplink of its new flight software load
with almost half of the required files already onboard. Starting with
Sol 865, flight software load files are being sent through the Mars
Odyssey forward link path in addition to the X-band high-gain antenna
path.

Opportunity has completed three more drives towards “Victoria Crater.”
As of Sol 862 (June 27, 2006), the river was 202 meters (663 feet) from
“Beagle Crater” and 705 meters (0.44 mile) from Victoria Crater.

The Moessbauer spectrometer instrument has begun to show some minor
anomalies although no degradation is noted in the actual measurement
channels. As time permits, the team has been conducting diagnostics to
troubleshoot the issue.

Sol-by-sol summaries:

Sol 859 (June 24, 2006): Opportunity used the panoramic camera to take
images and check the clarity of the atmosphere (“tau”). It completed a
cloud observation with the navigation camera and used its miniature
thermal emission spectrometer.

Sol 860: The rover assessed tau with the panoramic camera then drove.
After the drive, Opportunity took images with the navigation camera and
panoramic camera. The rover then used its miniature thermal emission
spectrometer to observe the sky and ground. After a communication-relay
session with NASA’s Mars Odyssey orbiter passing over, the rover
observed the sky with the panoramic camera and used the miniature
thermal emission spectrometer.

Sol 861: The panoramic camera assessed tau and surveyed the horizon.
The
rover then conducted observations with its miniature thermal emission
spectrometer.

Sol 862: The rover assessed tau with the panoramic camera, drove, then
took pictures from its new location. During communication with Odyssey,
Opportunity used its miniature thermal emission spectrometer. After
communicating with Odyssey, the rover did some diagnostic testing and
looked at dust accumulation. After that, the rover looked at the sky
with its panoramic camera and gathered data with the miniature thermal
emission spectrometer.

Sol 863: Opportunity assessed tau with the panoramic camera and
conducted observations with the miniature thermal emission
spectrometer.

Sol 864: The rover assessed tau with the panoramic camera, drove, and
took post-drive images and another tau measurement. It also used the
miniature thermal emission spectrometer.

Sol 865: Opportunity’s panoramic camera assessed tau and scanned the
horizon. The miniature thermal emission spectrometer was used to
observe
the sky and ground.

Sol 866 (July 1, 2006): Plans included assessing tau with the panoramic
camera and using the miniature thermal emission spectrometer.

Odometry total as of sol 862 (June 27, 2006): 8,312.92 meters (5.17
miles).