29 August 2016

Sols 1446-1447: Back on the road

Sols 1446-1447:  Back on the road

The MSL activities planned for last weekend went well, and the rover’s batteries have enough energy to proceed with another drive on Sol 1446. We started the day looking at the beautiful new Mastcam images of the nearby buttes, then got down to planning the details of the 2-sol plan.  On Sol 1446, Mastcam will extend coverage of previously-planned mosaics, and ChemCam will use its laser to measure the chemistry …

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28 August 2016

Sols 1443-1445: A very power heavy and complex weekend plan

Sols 1443-1445: A very power heavy and complex weekend plan

The drive planned on Wednesday did not execute due to an unanticipated flight software interaction.  However, the problem is now understood and we will attempt the drive again next week. Today’s three-sol weekend plan is focused on SAM activities and contact science.  On the first sol we’ll do a SAM pre-conditioning activity to prepare the sample cup prior to delivery of the Marimba2 drill sample.  We’ll also acquire a ChemCam observation of …

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24 August 2016

Sols 1441-1442: Cruising through the Murray Buttes

Sols 1441-1442: Cruising through the Murray Buttes

Curiosity is making good progress through the Murray Buttes, and on Sol 1439 we drove another 34 m to the south.  Today’s two-sol plan fits our familiar routine: a pre-drive science block, drive, post-drive imaging for targeting, and an untargeted science block on the second sol.  The plan starts with Mastcam and ChemCam observations of the targets “Viana,” “Ukuma,” and “Waku Kungo” to assess the composition and sedimentary structures in …

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22 August 2016

Sols 1439-1440: Target names that start with Q

Sols 1439-1440: Target names that start with Q

Our weekend drive halted a little bit early, but everything is looking good and we will continue to drive in today’s plan. We will start off the Sol 1439 plan with ChemCam observations of the layered rock targets “Quibala” and “Quibaxe.” Mastcam will then image Quibala, followed by a whole bunch of mosaics documenting the stratigraphy in the nearby buttes as well as the locations called “Quibaxe,” “Quipungo” and “Quicombo.” …

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20 August 2016

Sol 1436: Smooth sailing

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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17 August 2016

Sol 1433: Butte-iful scenery

Sol 1433: Butte-iful scenery

Yestersol’s drive went nicely, so today the plan looks quite similar, with a remote sensing block followed by another 50 meters of driving! The Sol 1433 plan starts with ChemCam and Mastcam of the target “Klein Klipneus.” After that, Mastcam has a couple of mosaics to continue admiring the scenery (a.k.a. studying the stratigraphy of the Murray Buttes). Then Curiosity will drive and collect post-drive imaging, followed by an untargeted …

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15 August 2016

Sol 1432: Crossing the sand

Sol 1432: Crossing the sand

The weekend plan went well, so the plan for Sol 1432 is to keep driving! Curiosity will go about 52 meters across a patch of sand, but before that we have a short science block. ChemCam will observe the target “Longa” and Mastcam has two mosaics of the nearby buttes. After the drive, we have post-drive imaging, and some onboard data processing of the MAHLI images of the “Marimba” drill …

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14 August 2016

Sols 1429-1431: Power limited

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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11 August 2016

Sol 1428: Walking *and* chewing gum on Mars

Sol 1428:  Walking *and* chewing gum on Mars

The tactical team decided that driving has higher priority, so critical post-drive imaging is focused on supporting mobility planning. Overnight, CheMin will perform another analysis of the Marimba drill sample, to improve the quality of mineralogical data.

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10 August 2016

Sol 1427: Driving away

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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