Imaging Santa Maria Crater
Opportunity is continuing to explore the 80-meter (262-foot) diameter Santa Maria crater.
The exploration campaign includes wide-baseline imaging surveys with both navigation camera (Navcam) and panoramic camera (Pancam) from several points around the rim of the crater.
The inset image was taken on sol 2464 by the navigation camera. It shows part of the rim of Santa Maria crater.
On Sol 2462 (Dec. 27, 2010), the rover backed away from her current rim survey location to move over 30 meters (98 feet) south to set up for another approach around the crater rim. On Sol 2464 (Dec. 29, 2010), Opportunity bumped about 7 meters (23 feet) to safely approach the rim for another wide-baseline imaging survey. After the completion of the image survey from that location, the rover will continue to move counter-clockwise around the crater for more imaging, and eventually positioning herself near the southeast portion of the rim for solar conjunction (starting late-January) for long-term in situ (contact) science with the Moessbauer (MB) spectrometer.
As of Sol 2464 (Dec. 29, 2010), solar array energy production was 578 watt-hours with a slightly elevated atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.692 and a solar array dust factor of 0.620.
Total odometry is 26,505.64 meters (26.51 kilometers, or 16.47 miles).
Image credit: NASA/JPL/Cornell/University of Arizona