Mars Exploration Rover Update - May 23, 2006

OPPORTUNITY UPDATE: Checking Out ‘Cheyenne’ and Testing Relay for
Phoenix - sol 818-824, May 23, 2006:

Opportunity is healthy and continuing to make its way toward “Victoria
Crater.” Opportunity made 108 meters (354 feet) of progress in two sols
of driving and was approximately 1,000 meters (just over half a mile)
from Victoria Crater at the end of Sol 823.

Opportunity and NASA’s Mars Odyssey orbiter are conducting a set of
demonstrations using the relay between the rover and orbiter to aid
planning for communications during NASA’s Phoenix Mars Lander mission,
slated for launch in August 2007 and landing in May 2008.

Sol-by-sol summaries

Sol 818 (May 13, 2006): Opportunity investigated a rock target called
“Cheyenne.” It used the microscopic imager to examine the target, then
used the rock abrasion tool’s wire bristles to brush the target. After
the brushing, the alpha particle X-ray spectrometer collected data
about
what elements make up the rock. The rover also took images with the
panoramic camera for a mosaic view from the location reached by Sol
817’s drive.

Sol 819: Opportunity took a post-brush microscopic stereo image mosaic
of Cheyenne and evaluated the target’s mineral composition with the
Moessbauer spectrometer. The rover also took a panoramic-camera image
of
“Pueblo,” an area of layered outcrop.

Sol 820: Opportunity used its Moessbauer spectrometer on Cheyenne,
observed the sky and ground with the miniature thermal emission
spectrometer, and used the navigation camera to check for clouds.

Sol 821: The rover took images of Cheyenne using the 13 filters of the
panoramic camera. Then it drove about 36.64 meters (120 feet) and took
pictures from the new location with the navigation camera and the
panoramic camera. It also used the panoramic camera for observing the
sky.

Sol 822: Opportunity used its navigation camera to do rearward-looking
imaging and cloud scans. The rover also used its miniature thermal
emission spectrometer to observe the sky and ground, and it worked with
Odyssey to conduct the second part of the Phoenix relay test. (The
first
part was on Sol 812.)

Sol 823: Opportunity drove 71.2 meters (234 feet) then took images from
the new location with the navigation camera and the panoramic camera.
The rover also used the panoramic camera to evaluate the clarity of the
atmosphere, monitor dust on the camera mast and observe the sky.

Sol 824 (May 19, 2006): On this sol, Opportunity took rearward-looking
images with its navigation camera, observed the ground and sky with its
miniature thermal emission spectrometer, and assessed atmospheric
clarity with its panoramic camera. During the sol’s relay pass with
Odyssey, the rover used the miniature thermal emission spectrometer
again to observe the sky and ground.

Opportunity’s total odometry as of Sol 821 (May 16, 2006) was 7,829.99
meters (4.87 miles)