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Wednesday, January 28, 2004

Opportunity Keeping a Little Too Warm

The heater on Opportunity's robotic arm is on continuously. It is draining 15 watts of power from the rover. Whether or not this will cause major problems is unknown. Engineers are currently working to diagnose the problem, suspected to be a faulty switch overriding the thermostat, and find a fix. Opportunity's High gain antenna has begun to transmit and Spirit's antenna has been diagnosed as in working order. Opportunity is going to be unfolded tonight. Once it is ready to go, as Dr. Steve Sqyures said, "[w]e're about to embark on what could be the coolest geological field trip in history." The layered rocks found near the landing site are hypothesized to be sedimentary or volcanic. Sedimentary layers would be a strong indicator of water. "We should be able to distinguish between those two hypotheses," said Dr. Andrew Knoll a member of the science team for the MER's.

(More info: NASA/JPL)

- posted by Jim @ 8:04 EST