9 February 2016

Sol 1249: Twelve kilometers and counting

Sol 1249:  Twelve kilometers and counting

The rover has traversed over 12 km since landing, and another drive is planned for Sol 1249.  The tactical planning team decided to forgo targeted remote science observations before the drive to allow more time for driving.  The goal is to get the vehicle to a location that will allow the remaining dune sample to be dumped and examined in detail this weekend, and this will require more drive time …

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8 February 2016

Sol 1248: Re-planning a Drive

Sol 1248:  Re-planning a Drive

It’s not Groundhog Day, but the drive planned for Sol 1247 will be attempted again on Sol 1248.  Due to a minor sequencing error, the arm activities that were planned for the morning of Sol 1247 were precluded.  Because the arm was not stowed that sol, the drive did not execute and the rover has not moved.  We were not able to recover the MAHLI imaging of the REMS UV …

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6 February 2016

Sols 1245-1247: Analyzing Murray formation bedrock

Sols 1245-1247:  Analyzing Murray formation bedrock

On Sol 1244, Curiosity bumped 2 meters forward to get to a nice patch of bedrock.  The focus of the weekend plan is to study typical Murray formation bedrock, do some targeting remote sensing, and then drive towards the Naukluft Plateau. The 3-sol weekend plan starts by using the DRT to clear off the dust on the target “Kudis.”  Then we’ll acquire MAHLI images of this typical Murray formation bedrock.  …

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4 February 2016

Sol 1244: Bump, Set… Scuff!

Sol 1244:  Bump, Set… Scuff!

Today’s plan is focused on bumping towards a bedrock target to set us up for contact science in the weekend plan.  As we bump forward, we’ll use the rear wheels to create one last scuff in Namib Dune, which we’ll image as we drive away. I was the GSTL today, and we had a busy morning deciding where to drive to and how to image the scuff that we’ll create.  …

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3 February 2016

Sol 1243: Getting ready to leave Namib Dune

Sol 1243:  Getting ready to leave Namib Dune

The contact science activities on Sol 1242 were successful, which completed our investigation at the Namib Dune sampling location.  I love the above Navcam image, which shows just how close we were able to get MAHLI to the dump piles, followed by the really high-resolution MAHLI image!  Now it’s time to leave Namib Dune and head off in search of the next drill location. I was the GSTL today, and …

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Sol 1242: Last analyses of the dump piles

Sol 1242:  Last analyses of the dump piles

Today was the last day for science activities at Namib Dune, as we’re planning to drive away on Sol 1243.  It’s fun looking at the disturbed sand in the workspace, and realizing how much we’ve done here (is it just me, or does it look like a big sandbox full of scoops, dumps and wheel scuffs?).  While it might look like Curiosity has just been playing in the sand, we’ve …

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2 February 2016

Sol 1241: Wrapping up at Namib Dune

Sol 1241: Wrapping up at Namib Dune

Curiosity is still parked at Namib dune, and we are we are close to finishing the science investigation here.  The team is still working to diagnose the CHIMRA anomaly, but the arm was cleared for use in today’s plan. The science activities in today’s plan include some additional MAHLI images to supplement the previously acquired selfie, and some long-distance ChemCam RMI mosaics to study layering on Mt. Sharp and the …

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31 January 2016

Sol 1239-1240: Analyzing the Sands of Mars

Sol 1239-1240: Analyzing the Sands of Mars

Since the anomaly with CHIMRA is still being investigated, there was no science involving the arm in today’s plan. Still, there was plenty to do, and we had to be careful not to collect too much extra data because there is a backlog of data on the rover waiting to be downlinked to Earth. On Sol 1239 we planned a bunch of observations of a target called “Gosser Schroffenstein” in …

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27 January 2016

Sols 1237-1238: Viewing an Alluvial Fan during CHIMRA Diagnostics

Sols 1237-1238:  Viewing an Alluvial Fan during CHIMRA Diagnostics

The cause of the CHIMRA anomaly is still being investigated, so no arm motion was planned today while diagnostic testing continues.  Because only remote science observations are allowed, it was a straightforward day for me as SOWG Chair and for the rest of the tactical science team. The only challenge was that the volume of data expected to be received in time for planning on Friday is less than usual …

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26 January 2016

Sols 1235-1236: CHIMRA Anomaly

Sols 1235-1236:  CHIMRA Anomaly

I’m scheduled as MAHLI/MARDI uplink lead today, and was looking forward to planning more close-up imaging as the Namib dune campaign continues.  Unfortunately, the CHIMRA behaved in an unexpected way during processing of the third scoop on Sol 1231, which prevented completion of the arm activities planned for last weekend.  While experts evaluate the anomalous behavior and develop a recovery plan, no new arm activities will be planned.  So I …

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