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20 August 2016

Sol 1436: Smooth sailing

We are making good progress with our drives (we’re already approaching our next drill site!) and the road in front of us is looking pretty smooth. As usual we have a busy weekend planned. Sol 1436 starts off with ChemCam and Mastcam of the layered rock targets “Conda” and “Savungo.” Mastcam then has a mosaic of one of the buttes, and another mosaic of an interesting feature within the Murray …

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14 August 2016

Sols 1429-1431: Power limited

MSL drove over 45 meters on Sol 1428, closer to the Murray Buttes. I helped select ChemCam targets again this morning, and was glad to see that some of them made it into the weekend plan.  The primary constraint on planning today ended up being power–we tried to fit more into the plan than the rover’s batteries could support!  But we were still able to include a lot of good …

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10 August 2016

Sol 1427: Driving away

After successfully completing the drilling activities at Marimba, it’s time to get back on the road.  Today’s plan is focused on targeted remote sensing and driving.  The plan starts with a Navcam movie to monitor the atmosphere, followed by Mastcam documentation of several autonomously selected ChemCam targets.  Then we’ll acquire a couple of ChemCam observations and Mastcam multispectral imaging of the Marimba pre-sieve dump pile before driving away.  After a short …

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9 August 2016

Sol 1426: Bringing in the data at Marimba

Today’s plan is focused on retrieving CheMin data from the overnight analysis of the Marimba drill sample and MAHLI and APXS observations of the drill hole and cuttings.  The plan starts with a short science block for atmospheric monitoring, followed by CheMin data readout.  Then we’ll do a short Mastcam change detection activity before dumping the pre-sieved drill sample.  After we dump the sample, we’ll acquire Mastcam, Navcam and MAHLI …

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8 August 2016

Sol 1421: Determining drill activities at Marimba

On Sol 1420 we planned a full drill hole on the target “Marimba” to characterize the composition of the Murray mudstone in this location.  However, we came in early this morning to find that the drill hole didn’t penetrate very far into this rock target, as seen in the above MAHLI image.  We’re trying to evaluate why this drill hole is different, and what prevented the drill from completing as …

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3 August 2016

Sol 1420: Drilling Marimba

The Sol 1419 activities completed successfully, including cleaning the remaining Oudam sample out of CHIMRA.  So the focus of the Sol 1420 plan is drilling into the Marimba bedrock target.  But first, MAHLI will image the “noseprint” of the APXS contact sensor in the Oudam dump pile and the drill target from various distances.  After the drilling has completed, the drill bit and the new drill hole will be imaged …

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2 August 2016

Sol 1419: Cleaning CHIMRA

Again, the tactical operations team was able to squeeze some additional science activities into the plan.

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1 August 2016

Sol 1418: Preparing to drill Marimba

Today’s plan was all about setting up for our next drill hole. Originally there was going to be no science block at all, but we ended up with a little bit more power than expected, so we managed to fit in a ChemCam observation of the expected drill target, called “Marimba” along with Mastcam documentation.

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29 July 2016

Sols 1416-1417: Approaching the next drill target

MSL drove another 44 meters on Sol 1414, into an area with larger blocks of bedrock. This looks like a good area to drill into the Murray Formation, so nearby targets were selected and we are planning a short drive to position the vehicle for drilling. But first, ChemCam and Mastcam will observe bedrock targets “Chibia” and “Dondo.” Mastcam will also measure the dust in the atmosphere and take an image of the Sol 1414 ChemCam AEGIS target.

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27 July 2016

Sols 1414-1416: Keep on truckin’

MSL drove over 45 meters on Sol 1412, to a location with lots of bedrock exposed but most of it is coated by dust. So again we decided not to deploy the arm and acquire lots of ChemCam data instead. LIBS observations of targets named “Okahandja,” “Swakopmund,” and “Walvis Bay” will be followed by another long-distance RMI mosaic. Then the Right Mastcam will image the ChemCam targets and acquire a 5-image mosaic of the Murray Buttes. The Left Mastcam will take a 7-image mosaic of the bedrock in front of the rover before the Sol 1414 drive.

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25 July 2016

Sols 1412-1413: No touch, just Go!

The Right Mastcam will also acquire a 14-image mosaic of the Murray Buttes early in the morning, and we finally were able to plan the long-distance RMI mosaic!

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24 July 2016

Sols 1409-1411: Finishing up at Bimbe

I am starting to think this observation is cursed! I’ll have to try again next week.

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16 July 2016

Sols 1402-1404: A juicy weekend plan for Curiosity

Not surprisingly, this is a very power-hungry plan, so we had to trim down some activities during the SOWG meeting. But we managed to get almost everything into the plan, and have set ourselves up for the possibility of more contact science on Monday. Should be a fun weekend in Gale crater!

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14 July 2016

Sol 1401: Curiosity checks out blocky deposits

The drive on Sol 1400 went well, and Curiosity drove approximately 13 meters along the edge of the blocky deposit “Bimbe.”  Today’s plan involves a number of ChemCam and Mastcam observations to assess the composition and textural properties of three large blocks in the deposit.  We’ll also acquire a Mastcam mosaic to document the eastern edge of the deposit, and a Navcam observation to search for dust devils.  Then Curiosity …

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13 July 2016

Sol 1400: Curiosity approaching the “Bimbe” blocky deposit

Today’s plan starts with some Mastcam mosaics…

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12 July 2016

Sol 1399: Curiosity rover on the road again

We’re back in our familiar drive pattern, with a short science block followed by a drive.  In today’s pre-drive science block, ChemCam and Mastcam will be used to study the target “Arandis” to document the chemistry of the local bedrock.  Then we’ll acquire several Mastcam mosaics to study some blocky deposits and document laminations in the Murray formation.  A drive of about 45 meters is planned, followed by post-drive imaging …

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6 July 2016

Curiosity Update: Safe Mode

The Curiosity rover activities planned for Sols 1387 and 1388 completed successfully, and lots of good data were returned including a stunning Right Mastcam panorama of the “Murray Buttes” toward the southwest.  One of the images in this panorama shows a boulder that appears to be precariously balanced.  No, we don’t plan to drive right up next to it, but we’ll probably get closer looks as the rover proceeds toward …

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4 July 2016

Sol 1389-1391: Holiday Weekend, Good Luck Juno!

Today we put together a three sol plan to take us through the holiday weekend. On Sol 1389 we do contact science with APXS and MAHLI on the target “Outjo.” SAM also will begin an analysis of some of the “Mojave2” sample that was collected a while ago. Sol 1390 starts off with a long science block. This was originally split into two blocks, but during planning we decided it …

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29 June 2016

Sol 1386: Curiosity rover studying Trekkopje, checking the wheels

Our drive for the Curiosity rover in the Sol 1385 plan took us 66 meters, continuing our path south between the “Baynes Mountains” and “Helgas Dune.” The plan for Sol 1386 starts off with APXS and MAHLI observations of the target “Trekkopje,” followed by a short science block. Mastcam will start off the block with some atmospheric measurements, then ChemCam will join in the fun and analyze Trekkopje too. Mastcam …

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28 June 2016

Sol 1385: Drive Curiosity rover, then drive some more

Not a lot to report today: these one-sol drive plans are pretty simple! (Well, as simple as driving a giant robot on another planet can be…) Yesterday’s Curiosity rover drive took us a little over 60m and we’re planning another drive in the sol 1385 plan. Before the drive, we have a short science block with a ChemCam observation of the target “Epembe” and a Mastcam mosaic of “Baynes Mountain” …

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