6 November 2016

Sols 1511-1513: Brushing Penobscot

Posted by Ryan Anderson

After driving over 40 meters on Sol 1509, MSL is ready for the 3-sol weekend plan.  There are a couple of good-sized outcrops in the arm workspace, so we’re planning contact science on Sol 1511.  But first, Navcam will look for clouds and ChemCam will observe bedrock targets named “Pemetic,” “Jordan Pond,” and “Penobscot.”  The Right Mastcam will then image Jordan Pond, Pemetic, and the ChemCam target selected by AEGIS on Sol 1509, and acquire a 9×3 mosaic of sedimentary structures southwest of the rover.  Later that afternoon, the DRT will brush off Penobscot and MAHLI will image the brushed spot and Pemetic from 25, 5 and 1 centimeter.  The APXS will be placed on Pemetic for a pair of integrations that evening, then placed on Penobscot for an overnight integration.
On Sol 1512, Mastcam will acquire a 5×4 stereo mosaic of the outcrop around Penobscot and a multispectral observation of the brushed spot.  Next, MAHLI will image the rover wheels at 5 locations separated by small “bumps” to monitor wheel wear.  Then it’s time for another drive and the post-drive imaging needed for a potential “touch and go” on Sol 1514.
Sol 1513 starts with another ChemCam observation using AEGIS and Mastcam measurements of atmospheric dust opacity.  Finally, CheMin will read out the data resulting from the recent analysis of empty sample cells and MARDI will acquire another image during twilight.  The rover will then get some well-earned rest and charge her batteries overnight.  It was a busy morning for me and the other MAHLI/MARDI uplink leads, but we’re happy with the plan!


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.