The Odyssey Orbiter Just Contacted Opportunity

Looks like we just pulled down about 20Mbits of data from the opportunity rover which is excellent. The crew is eagerly awaiting engineering data and a few hazcam photos from the front and back, a few more hazcam shots, then some pancam shots to figure out where the sun is and they might even get into the beginning of the first color pancam postcard today (mars time) :)

Edit (4:06am EST): Night crew is getting fidgety and talkative while waiting for the data from the odyssey pass. The commentators have remarked that Odyssey is most likely still dumping its own science data before sending out Opportunity’s data.

The first pictures that should arrive are the sets of thumbnails and they should come in a short burst. Fairly shortly afterwards the larger full-resolution pictures should arrive slightly later.

Edit (4:10am EST): Reports that the Opportunity data is coming in. The pitch of the rover is 5.1 degrees and the roll is 1.8 degrees. No faults detected. Flight power reports 32.6V on the bus. Solar array current is 0.75A RPD current is 2.4A and both pyro systems are enabled. Pictures coming in…

Edit (4:12am EST): The rear hazcam picture has arrived. Temperatures look nominal. Pictures look great! Terrain looks considerably different. Very smooth. Lots of geography on the horizon.

Hazcam images of the “-X Pedal” and ground nearby have arrived. Next is right navcam “+Y” direction. Hazcam pictures indicate that the front egress path is clear unlike in MER A.

Edit (4:16am EST): Pre-deploy hazcam images show some very interesting terrain in front of the lander. The overhead mozaics are coming in now. Some very angular rocky outcroppings near the rover.

Some excited quotes:

The rocks nearby look like a mosaic tiled floor!

This is why we sent two.

Edit (4:20am): More images coming in. Very devoid of loose rocks. Many excellent and detailed grooves on the surface near the +Y pedal. Looks like (to me) mud formed by water run off. Something you’d see near a river here on Earth.

I will attempt no analysis because its like nothing I’ve ever seen before

That outcropping is just….out of this world

bada ching

Edit (4:23 EST): Pictures of the bounce marks on the surface are coming in. The bounce marks look much more defined than in the MER A landing site. The bounce marks look very smooth. The ground looks very corrugated and wrinkly. The scientists are very interested in the rocky outcropping immediately in front of the rover. Almost certain to be the first missing for Opportunity.

Edit (4:25 EST): All the data is down for today, lots of images to drool over :)