30 March 2016
The Sol 1296 drive was halted after only 4 meters of progress because the suspension on the left side of the rover was more tilted than expected. Suspension checks are routinely included in drive sequences, to keep the vehicle safe, and MSL is indeed safe. So the Sol 1298 plan includes a drive to the same location as previously planned. We were also able to squeeze in some pre-drive remote science: ChemCam and Mastcam will observe rock targets named “Blaubock 2” and “Chapeu Armado.” Sol 1299 observations are untargeted because they will occur after the drive, and include Mastcam, ChemCam, and Navcam measurements of the sun and sky.
I was MAHLI/MARDI uplink lead again today, with only the usual MARDI twilight image to plan. But if the rover ends up in a good location for contact science, we’ll be able to plan MAHLI close-up images this weekend.
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.