26 April 2016

Sol 1324: Power-constrained

Posted by Ryan Anderson

As expected, the Sol 1323 data we needed for planning today were received later than usual, so tactical planning started 3 hours later than normal.  This makes for a long day, especially for the European members of the MSL operations team.  But the real challenge today is power–the drill-related activities that have been commanded lately require discharging the batteries more deeply than we usually do.  So as SOWG Chair today, I put a lot of effort into fitting high-priority observations into the plan while limiting battery discharge.  As it turned out, we were able to preserve all of the strategically-planned activities, including dumping the unsieved portion of the sample and observing it with Mastcam, Navcam, MAHLI, and APXSChemCam will measure the chemistry in the wall of the drill hole and CheMin will return mineralogical data.  But these activities will leave the batteries only 60% charged, not enough to continue the drill campaign tomorrow.  So it looks like the rover will have to take a break and recharge its batteries tomorrow.

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.