3 December 2015
Today we are planning the last sol of the mobility test, turning and backing out of the sand while taking multiple Hazcam images, then pausing to take Navcam and Mastcam images of the wheel tracks. But first, Mastcam will take multispectral images of a rock named “Narabeb” and a soil target dubbed “Kubib.” The right Mastcam will also acquire another 2×2 mosaic of Secomib, to look for changes in the trench wall, and image the spots where the APXS was placed on the sand. The biggest challenge for me as SOWG Chair today was to prioritize the post-drive data, as the volume of data expected to be received in time for planning tomorrow is smaller than usual. We’re hoping that the rover will drive close enough to “High Dune” to allow contact science on the dark dune sand, so we’ll need good images of the arm workspace. But we’re also planning to drive again this weekend, so we’ll also need images in the direction of the drive. It looks like we will get just enough data to enable a full weekend plan, assuming that all the orbiter and ground assets work as we’ve come to expect.
Later in the afternoon, the ChemCam RMI and right Mastcam will acquire a small mosaic of an outcrop up on Mount Sharp, and both Mastcams will image the ground in front of the rover. Finally, the left Mastcam will acquire a mosaic of the ground and sand to the right of the rover, and MARDI will take another twilight image.
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.