14 November 2015

Sols 1164-1165: Brushing “Swartkloofberg”

Posted by Ryan Anderson

The rover drove over 38 meters on Sol 1162, as expected.  We are transitioning out of restricted planning, so only 2 sols are being planned for this weekend.  There were so many good ideas for activities this morning that the team had to decide which to remove from the plan to leave enough charge in the rover’s batteries to enable nominal planning on Monday.  Still, the plan is a very full one:  On Sol 1164, ChemCam and Mastcam will observe one of the Bagnold Dunes that is a near-term goal for detailed investigation, plus other more nearby targets called “Swakop” and “Zaris.”  After another AEGIS checkout activity, the arm will be deployed to take a MAHLI image of the REMS UV sensor and of a rock dubbed “Swartkloofberg.”  Then the DRT will brush the dust off Swartkloofberg and MAHLI will acquire mosaics of the brushed spot and of Swakop before the APXS is placed on the brushed spot for an overnight integration.

On Sol 1165, the arm will be stowed and the rover will drive farther south, again orienting the vehicle for REMS wind measurements.  After sunset, SAM will clean its scrubbers, an engineering activity that has been performed twice before.  Finally, the rover will go to sleep and recharge in preparation for the next sol‘s activities.

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.