14 July 2015
The drive over the weekend stopped a bit early (~17 meters instead of the intended ~25 meters) because the software that the rover uses to monitor its drive progress was being extra cautious. The rover is fine, and in the sol 1044 plan we will keep driving.
Before the drive, ChemCam has observations of targets of varying textures named “Edith”, “Sheffer”, and “Finley”. Mastcam will take some documentation images of the same targets, along with a stereo mosaic of some interesting layered rocks and a complementary 4×3 mosaic of the nearby “Apikuni Mountain” area.
After the drive, we will take routine post-drive images, and then on sol 1045 ChemCam has some calibration measurements and Navcam has some cloud monitoring observations. On both sols, Mastcam will also continue its sun-spot monitoring campaign, and REMS, RAD, and DAN will do their routine measurements.
Meanwhile, many of us on the rover team are eagerly waiting along with the rest of the world to see the results of the historic New Horizons Pluto flyby that is happening right now. The pictures that New Horizons has sent back already are weird and fascinating, and everyone is looking forward to seeing more!
-Ryan is a planetary scientist at the USGS Astrogeology Science Center and a member of the ChemCam team on MSL.
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.