27 July 2016

Sols 1414-1416: Keep on truckin’

Posted by Ryan

MSL drove over 45 meters on Sol 1412, to a location with lots of bedrock exposed but most of it is coated by dust. So again we decided not to deploy the arm and acquire lots of ChemCam data instead.  LIBS observations of targets named “Okahandja,” “Swakopmund,” and “Walvis Bay” will be followed by another long-distance RMI mosaic. Then the Right Mastcam will image the ChemCam targets and acquire a 5-image mosaic of the Murray Buttes. The Left Mastcam will take a 7-image mosaic of the bedrock in front of the rover before the Sol 1414 drive.

After the drive, lots of images are planned to enable selection of contact science targets for Sol 1416 on Friday, and another ChemCam target will be autonomously selected and LIBS data acquired using AEGIS. On Sol 1415, Navcam will again search for clouds and Mastcam will measure the amount of dust in the atmosphere. I’m MAHLI/MARDI uplink lead today, and with only a MARDI post-drive twilight image in the plan, it’s been an easy day so far.  But of course it’s exciting and fun to be involved in tactical operations!

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.