11 January 2016
MSL has recovered from the motor controller anomaly, so tactical operations are back on track, with a drive to the dune sampling area planned for Sol 1221. I helped the ChemCam team select targets for LIBS and RMI observations today. Before the drive, ChemCam will observe a target named “Probeer” on a patch of bedrock in front of the rover. Mastcam will also image Probeer and acquire a stereo mosaic of the nearby part of the Namib dune. After the drive, in addition to the imaging planned to support arm work and targeted remote sensing, Navcam will acquire a small mosaic of the upper part of Mt. Sharp. Overnight, SAM will measure the abundance of methane in the atmosphere, then Navcam and Mastcam will look for clouds and dust early in the morning of Sol 1222. Later that sol, Mastcam and RMI will image the wall of a ~4 km-diameter crater about 30 km to the west. ChemCam and Mastcam will then observe the sky, and Mastcam will acquire a small stereo mosaic to look for changes in the nearby dune. Throughout the plan, REMS will measure wind speeds for comparison with any motion of sand observed by the cameras.
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.