24 September 2015

Sols 1114-1115: Contact science on Big Sky

Posted by larryohanlon


The 14-meter Sol 1112 drive completed as planned, and the rover is in a good position for contact science.  There are flat areas in front of the rover that are suitable for drilling, so the Sol 1114 plan includes DRT brushing, MAHLI imaging, and APXS measurements of a target named “Big Sky.”  Before the arm is deployed, ChemCam and Mastcam will observe Big Sky and “Big Rock.”  I’m MAHLI/MARDI uplink lead today, so I was busy planning MAHLI images of Big Sky before and after brushing, making sure that the post-brush images will be well illuminated by the sun.  This required working closely with the rover planners as they modeled the illumination of the target with the MAHLI placed close to it.  After the imaging of the brushed spot is completed, the arm will be pushed against the potential drill targets to confirm that they can be drilled, and low-resolution MAHLI images will be taken to look at the imprints of the drill prongs.  The APXS will briefly measure the chemistry of  an area offset a few centimeters from the center of the brush spot, then will be placed on the center of the spot for an overnight integration.

Planning is restricted again, so we planned 2 sols of activities today.  On Sol 1115, Navcam will search for dust devils, ChemCam and Mastcam will observe targets named “Heath,” “Leigh,” and the distant slopes of Mt. Sharp.  Mastcam will also acquire mosaics of “Amanda” and the “Bagnold Dunes” toward the southwest.

by Ken Herkenhoff