10 January 2016

Sols 1218-1220: Change in plans

Posted by Ryan

Sol 1216 Mastcam Namib Dune

We came in this morning curious to see how the Sol 1217 bump and scuff went, but unfortunately there was an anomaly that prevented any use of motors during the plan.  No motors meant no drive and no scuff, and most of our planned activities did not occur.  So today turned into a recovery day – first trying to assess what happened and why it happened, and then figuring out how to proceed.  Thanks to some impressive work by the science and engineering teams, we developed a plan that allows for recovery on Sol 1218, followed by some opportunistic science on Sols 1219-1220.  I was the GSTL today, and we had a fun but challenging day trying to figure out how to do good science without moving the rover or the mast.  Ultimately we delivered some ChemCam and Mastcam activities that will help to assess the composition of the soil, and search for any wind-driven movement of fines.  The weekend plan provided a unique opportunity to do several coordinated change-detection observations using both Mastcam and REMS, at multiple times throughout the day.  Looking ahead to next week, we’re hoping to proceed with the bump and scuff to get back on track with the Namib Dune
sampling activities!

By Lauren Edgar

Dates of planned rover activities described in these reports are subject to change due to a variety of factors related to the Martian environment, communication relays and rover status.