16 December 2016
The engineering team is still hard at work diagnosing our drill issues, but in the meantime we are still getting good science done. The Sol 1552 plan starts off with ChemCam observations of the targets “Hall Quarry” and “Long Porcupine”. Mastcam will document those targets and then do a multispectral observation of “Western Head”. Mastcam also has an image of the rover deck, and Navcam will watch for dust devils. There will also be some drill diagnostics on Sol 1552.
After sitting in the same spot for so long, it will be nice on Sol 1553 when we retract the arm and drive to an interesting area about 10 meters away. After the drive we are planning post-drive imaging and a MARDI image of the ground under the rover. Sol 1554 is an untargeted sol, with Navcam and Mastcam atmospheric observations.
-Ryan is a planetary scientist at the USGS Astrogeology Science Center and a member of the ChemCam team on MSL.
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