21 April 2015
by Ken Herkenhoff
The Sol 960 drive went as planned, for a total of over 102 meters! The rover has driven far enough since the last full set of MAHLI images were acquired that it’s time to take another full set to look for more wheel wear. So my focus today as MAHLI/MARDI uplink lead was on planning wheel images. MARDI images are typically taken at each wheel-imaging position as well, but all of these images were well planned strategically, so it was an easy day for me. Wheel images will be taken at 4 spots, separated by short drives to ensure that all of the wheel surfaces can be examined. This takes enough time that there wasn’t much room for other observations: Sol 962 begins with Mastcam mosaics of distant outcropsand images of the Sun and sky. After the rover stops moving, Mastcam and Navcam will take pictures of the terrain near the new rover position, and the Left Navcam will image the sun just before it sets to measure the distribution of dust in the atmosphere.
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.