26 January 2016

Sols 1235-1236: CHIMRA Anomaly

Posted by Ryan

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 didn’t have much to do today and focused on what should be done after the anomaly is resolved.

The Sol 1235 plan includes ChemCam and Mastcam change-detection images of Hebron and new observations of the scuff floor target Husab.  In addition, ChemCam will analyze bedrock target “Etjo” and Mastcam will image CHIMRA to confirm its configuration.  Overnight, SAM will analyze the 0.15-1.0 mm size fraction of the dune sand.  Before dawn on Sol 1236, ChemCam will search for evidence of water frost on both fine sand and the Etjo bedrock target.  After sunrise, the ChemCam RMI and Right Mastcam will take pictures of the same frost targets, then Mastcam and Navcam will acquire an early-morning set of  photometry images.  Later that sol, ChemCam will observe the sky and Mastcam will repeat the Hebron observation to look for changes.  Finally, Mastcam and Navcam will repeat the photometry observation  later in the morning of Sol 1237.

by Ken Herkenhoff

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.