10 September 2015

Sol 1101: Driving into the Saddle

Posted by Ryan Anderson

The 34-meter drive planned for Sol 1100 placed the rover at the edge of the small plateau, as intended, with a good view of a bright Murray Formation outcrop.

The center of the Murray outcrop is the target of the drive planned for Sol 1101, which will hopefully put the vehicle in position for contact science over the weekend.  Before the drive, ChemCam RMI and Mastcam observations of targets named “Brady” and “Bradley” are planned, both of which are on the far wall of Bridger Basin.

Mastcam will also observe a shallow trough in the soil next to the rover (“Blackleaf Creek”) and acquire a mosaic of the Murray exposure, which has been named “Saddle.”

Although MRO is now relaying data as expected, it will pass low in the sky over MSL after the Sol 1101 drive, so we aren’t expecting to receive as much data as usual.  The biggest challenge for me as SOWG Chair today was therefore planning and prioritizing the data we need for planning tomorrow.  We’re hoping that we get at least as much data as expected.

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.