2 December 2015
Due to problems at the Goldstone DSN complex, the bundle of command sequences generated for Sol 1180 could not be sent to MSL. So the rover performed minimal activities on Sol 1180, as expected in “runout” mode. The good news is that the rover’s batteries are charged up, and the engineering team determined that activities can be planned after the heater table update by avoiding the types of heating that are affected by the update. So the Sol 1181 plan includes the first part of the mobility test: drive a few meters into the dark sand in front of the rover, then back up enough to allow study of the rover tracks using the arm instruments. During the drive, MARDI will acquire many images of the surface behind the left front wheel, to document the sand as it is disturbed by the wheel. After the drive and the standard post-drive imaging are completed, ChemCam will observe its calibration targets, RMI and Mastcam will image part of Mount Sharp in the distance, and Navcam will search for clouds.
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.