24 February 2016
We had a successful ~70 meter drive toward the Naukluft plateau, and the drive in today’s plan should put us about halfway to the base of the plateau. The Sol 1264 plan starts with some targeted science: first we have a Mastcam mosaic of the scarp that forms the edge of the plateau, and then ChemCam will analyze the two targets “Awahab” and “Awa Gamteb”. After the targeted science, the rover will drive about 30 meters and do standard post-drive imaging so we can do targeted science (and possibly contact science) over the weekend.
In the early morning of Sol 1265, we have a bunch of atmospheric observations with Navcam and Mastcam to watch for clouds and measure the amount of dust in the atmosphere. Then later in the day Mastcam will repeat its dust observations. I was involved in planning this morning and we were hoping to get some long-distance RMI observations of Mt. Sharp in the Sol 1265 plan, but they had to be removed because the software we use to write the commands was giving different coordinates than what we were expecting from the images. It’s always disappointing to have observations pulled from the plan, but it’s better to be safe than sorry when you start to get weird results from the software. Pulling them from the plan allows us to figure out what the issue was, and we can get the images I wanted some other time.
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.