22 July 2015

Sols 1051-1054: Approaching "Lion"

Posted by Ryan Anderson

After driving just over 20 meters, the rover stopped 4.4 meters short of the Sol 1049 drive goal because the vehicle pitch exceeded the 15-degree limit set by the rover drivers.  So another 6.4-meter drive toward the bright outcrop of interest, dubbed “Lion,” was planned for Sol 1051.  That  drive completed successfully, providing a good view of the outcropChemCam and Mastcam observed the sand ripple “Agency” and bedrock target “Mullan” before the Sol 1051 drive.  Now that the Lion outcrop is within LIBS range, ChemCam and Mastcam observations of it are planned for Sol 1053, specifically targets named “Sorrel Springs” and “Buckskin.”  A nearby rock called “Hewolf” will also be observed before the rover drives closer to the Lion outcrop.  Hopefully the rover will be in position for contact science on the outcrop this weekend.  The Sol 1054 plan is much less complex, with a Navcam search for clouds above the rover and ChemCam calibration activities. The vehicle should be recharged and ready for a busy weekend plan!

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.