9 September 2015
The rover drove 34.5 meters on Sol 1099, as planned, to a good location for the imaging of the northwest wall of Bridger Basin.
The Mastcam team verified that the pointing of the mosaic of that wall, planned to occur early on Sol 1100, is excellent. So the Sol 1100 plan includes another drive, to the southwest edge of the small plateau the rover is on. Before the drive, ChemCam and Mastcam will observe nearby layered rocks dubbed “Swan” and “Sunburst,” and Right Mastcam mosaics will be taken of targets named “Studhorse,” “Sweetgrass Arch” and “Silver Hill.” After the drive, in addition to the standard post-driving activities, we’re planning a Right Mastcam mosaic of “Beartooth Butte” and a SAM diagnostic activity in preparation for the next solid sample analysis. Fitting all of the desired observations into the plan was challenging, otherwise I’ve had an easy day as SOWG Chair.
The MRO operations team identified the cause of the communications relay problem we had over the holiday weekend, and sent commands to the spacecraft to correct it. We’re happy that we are again receiving lots of good data via MRO!
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.