10 April 2016

Sols 1307-1308: Deja vu all over again

Posted by Ryan


On Sol 1305, the rover straightened its wheels in preparation for a drive, but then the fault that prevented driving earlier this week occurred again, and the vehicle did not move.  The engineers are preparing to send parameter changes that will eliminate mobility actuator sensitivity to the transient power spikes.

Fortunately, there are some rocks in front of the rover that are suitable for contact science, so the arm will be deployed on Sol 1307.  But first, ChemCam and Mastcam will examine a bedrock target named “Divundu” and rock target “Kapako,” and Mastcam will acquire a full multispectral set of images of a distant bright ridge called “Ruacana.”  Later that sol, MAHLI will take a couple images of Divundu before the DRT brushes dust off of the target.  MAHLI will then acquire full suite of images of the brushed spot and smaller sets of images of a rock named “Gaio” and a bedrock target called “Lucira.”  The APXS will be placed on Gaio for a couple of evening integrations, then on Divundu for a long overnight integration.

Early on the morning of Sol 1308, the Right Mastcam will acquire a mosaic of the north side of Aeolis Mons (“Mt. Sharp”).  Later that morning, Navcam will search for clouds and dust devils, and Mastcam will image the crater rim to determine how much dust is in the air within Gale crater.  In the afternoon, the arm will be stowed before Mastcam acquires a multispectral observation of the Divundu brush spot before the rover attempts to drive again.  After taking the usual post-drive images, the rover will go to sleep and recharge its batteries in preparation for Monday’s activities.  Only 2 sols are being planned today, to get the tactical schedule back in sync with “Mars time.”

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.