11 August 2015

Sols 1071-1072: What we’ve got here is a failure to communicate

Posted by Ryan Anderson

Unfortunately over the weekend there was an outage at the Deep Space Network, which prevented the plan for the weekend from being sent to Curiosity. So, instead of a busy weekend, Curiosity was in “runout” mode, making routine environmental monitoring measurements and waiting patiently for more instructions. The sol 1071 and 1072 plans are focused primarily on recovering the observations that were lost in the weekend plan, before we drive away.

On sol 1071, ChemCam has a passive observation of “Coombs”, and active (laser-firing) observations of three locations on “Missoula”. Mastcam will take some supporting images, and Navcam has some atmospheric observations. In the sol 1072 plan, ChemCam has active observations of the target “Stenerson” and another location on “Missoula,” and Mastcam will once again take supporting images, plus an observation of the sun. After that, the plan is leave Marias Pass and drive about 35 meters to the southwest.

By Ryan Anderson

-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.