Mars Exploration Rover Update - May 4, 2006

OPPORTUNITY UPDATE: ‘Victoria’ in View - sol 804-810, May 04, 2006:

Opportunity executed a three-sol examination of “Brookville” outcrop
with tools on the robotic arm. This work included microscopic imaging,
brushing, 16 total hours of integrated data gathering with the
spectrometer, and an overnight integration with the alpha particle
spectrometer. Then Opportunity stowed its arm and drove 107 meters (351
feet) in three sols, reaching a point estimated to be 1,279 meters
than eight-tenths of a mile) from “Victoria Crater.” The team believes
the rim of the crater is becoming visible in a vertically stretched
image looking south.

Sol-by-sol summaries:

Sol 804 (April 28, 2006): This was the first sol of robotic arm work on
Brookville. The rover took microscopic images, then brushed the target
and followed with an afternoon data collection by the Moessbauer
spectrometer. The rover observed a target called “Great Bend” with the
miniature thermal emission spectrometer during the afternoon
communication-relay session with NASA’s Mars Odyssey orbiter.

Sol 805: Opportunity did morning atmospheric science and positioned the
alpha particle X-ray spectrometer. The rover used that spectrometer on
Brookville until taking morning images of Gila Bend using 13 filters of
the panoramic camera.

Sol 806: On the final sol of arm work on Brookville, Opportunity
tools to the Moessbauer spectrometer and completed an afternoon
integration. At 7:00 p.m. local solar time, the team stopped the
integration and Opportunity did a mini-deep sleep.

Sol 807: The panoramic camera took 13-filter images of the arm’s
brushing target. Then Opportunity drove for 30 minutes. After driving,
the rover observed the surroundings from its new position with the
navigation camera and looked in the drive direction with the panoramic

Sol 808: Opportunity drove for an hour and 10 minutes in the compass
direction of 150 degrees (south southeast), then took images from its
new location. During the afternoon, the rover made observations with
thermal emission spectrometer and used the panoramic camera to check
atmospheric clarity. It used the deep-sleep mode overnight.

Sol 809: Opportunity took another 1-hour-and-10-minute drive followed
imaging and atmospheric science during the Odyssey pass.

Sol 810 (May 5, 2006): The rover was directed to take rear-looking
images with the navigation camera during the morning of sol 810 as part
of plan uplinked on sol 809. The plan for uplink on sol 810 includes a
15-meter (50-foot) approach to a target for using the robotic arm’s
tools to inspect ripple banding during the weekend, plus post-drive
imaging with the navigation camera and panoramic camera.

As of sol 809 (May 4, 2006) Opportunity has driven 7,575.51 meters
(4.71 miles).