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Opportunity Mission Journal

Rover: Opportunity Date: September 10, 2004

This overview of “Endurance Crater” traces Opportunity’s path from sol 94 (April 29, 2004) to sol 205 (August 21, 2004). On sol 94, the rover sat on the edge of this impressive, stadium-sized crater while team members assessed the scene. There was careful analysis of the angles Opportunity would face, including testing an Earth-bound model on simulated martian terrain. The rover finally dipped into the crater on its 130th sol (June 5, 2004), and has made its way down the crater’s inner slope, grinding, trenching and examining fascinating rocks and soil targets along the way.

Rover: Opportunity Date: September 3, 2004

Rover scientists and engineers used Opportunity's Pancam camera to determine if a pebble was jamming the rock abrasion tool. Reflectance spectra were acquired of the grinding wheel heads (yellow); the RAT magnets (green); the supposed pebble (red); a sunlit portion of the aluminum RAT housing (purple); and a shadowed portion of the housing (brown). The spectra led the team to conclude that the object disabling the RAT was indeed a martian pebble. At some point after this image was taken (sol 200 or August 16, 2004), the pebble fell out and the RAT is now back in working order.

Rover: Opportunity Date: August 27, 2004

Steep slopes and lack of traction deep inside "Endurance Crater" caused Opportunity to experience up to 50 percent slip during parts of its traverse. The rover ended up more than 50 centimeters (about 20 inches) downslope from the planned final position. The rover team changed routes to move Opportunity toward safer terrain.

Rover: Opportunity Date: August 26, 2004

Like a finger reaching out to touch the rover, a dune tendril (left) extends from the dune field at the bottom of "Endurance Crater." The intriguing dunes present a tantalizing target for the science team. However, after analyzing the soil near and around the dunes, the rover engineering team decided that it was too risky to send Opportunity any closer. This view is a mosaic of two images taken by the rover’s navigation camera and presented in a perspective projection.

Rover: Opportunity Date: August 18, 2004

Winter clouds drift across the skies at "Endurance Crater" in this image from Opportunity’s Pancam camera. Clouds are more common at Meridiani Planum now that winter has arrived.

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