14 May 2015
by Ken Herkenhoff
The MSL tactical team took a day off yesterday to allow Earth and Mars time to synch up; planning is no longer restricted and we will be working every day the rest of this week (including Saturday). Despite efforts to avoid sandy areas, the Sol 983 drive stopped short when the rover detected that it was slipping too much. So after taking some Mastcam images of the areas that are being considered for upcoming contact science, the rover will back up and drive around the sand and up onto a low ridge to the southwest of our current location. The slopes on the flank of the ridge are steeper than those that the rover has traversed before, but it will probably be easier to climb them than to drive across the sandy ripples. Overnight, CheMin will perform an instrument calibration activity.
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.