25 November 2016

Sols 1531-1533: Thanksgiving at Precipice

Posted by Ryan Anderson

Sol 1526 Mastcam image

Today’s plan covers sols 1531-1533, which will take us through the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. We are in place at our next drill location “Precipice” so there will be no driving in the plan, just a lot of science and preparation for drilling!

Sol 1531 will start off with ChemCam observations of Precipice as well as the targets “Frenchman Bay” and “Hunter’s Beach,” followed by Mastcam documentation of all three targets. I also managed to fit a request for some Navcams of Mt. Sharp in the Sol 1531 science block to enable some long distance RMI observations next week. After the science block, the rover will do the “pre-load test” on our drilling target to improve the accuracy of the drill next week. Precipice will also be brushed off, and APXS will settle in for an overnight measurement.

On Sol 1532, Mastcam starts off with an observation of the distant foothills of Mt. Sharp, multispectral imaging of the Precipice target (along with the associated calibration target), and imaging of the rover deck to watch for changes in the sand and dust that have collected there. Mastcam will also take a stereo image of the location where the previous drill sample will be dumped. ChemCam has an observation of a target called “Breakneck Pond” which will then be documented by Mastcam. We will round out the science block with Mastcam and Navcam atmospheric observations. Finally, on Sol 1533, we will dump out our previous drill sample and do an APXS measurement on the dump pile.

While the rover is busy with all of that, the Americans on the MSL team will be celebrating Thanksgiving, and thinking about how thankful we are that we get to work on such an amazing project with such great colleagues!

by Ryan Anderson

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