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31 August 2016

Sols 1448-1449: No touch, just go

MSL roved 53 meters on Sol 1446, and ended up in an area with nice exposures of bedrock. We were interested in taking MAHLI close-up images of the bedrock but were concerned that they would not be very useful if the surface as dusty as it typically is.  We therefore considered using the ChemCam laser to clean off some of the dust and get chemical information before deploying the arm, but recognized that the …

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28 August 2016

Sols 1443-1445: A very power heavy and complex weekend plan

The drive planned on Wednesday did not execute due to an unanticipated flight software interaction.  However, the problem is now understood and we will attempt the drive again next week. Today’s three-sol weekend plan is focused on SAM activities and contact science.  On the first sol we’ll do a SAM pre-conditioning activity to prepare the sample cup prior to delivery of the Marimba2 drill sample.  We’ll also acquire a ChemCam observation of …

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17 August 2016

Sol 1433: Butte-iful scenery

Yestersol’s drive went nicely, so today the plan looks quite similar, with a remote sensing block followed by another 50 meters of driving! The Sol 1433 plan starts with ChemCam and Mastcam of the target “Klein Klipneus.” After that, Mastcam has a couple of mosaics to continue admiring the scenery (a.k.a. studying the stratigraphy of the Murray Buttes). Then Curiosity will drive and collect post-drive imaging, followed by an untargeted …

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14 August 2016

Sols 1429-1431: Power limited

MSL drove over 45 meters on Sol 1428, closer to the Murray Buttes. I helped select ChemCam targets again this morning, and was glad to see that some of them made it into the weekend plan.  The primary constraint on planning today ended up being power–we tried to fit more into the plan than the rover’s batteries could support!  But we were still able to include a lot of good …

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11 August 2016

Sol 1428: Walking *and* chewing gum on Mars

The tactical team decided that driving has higher priority, so critical post-drive imaging is focused on supporting mobility planning. Overnight, CheMin will perform another analysis of the Marimba drill sample, to improve the quality of mineralogical data.

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10 August 2016

Sol 1427: Driving away

After successfully completing the drilling activities at Marimba, it’s time to get back on the road.  Today’s plan is focused on targeted remote sensing and driving.  The plan starts with a Navcam movie to monitor the atmosphere, followed by Mastcam documentation of several autonomously selected ChemCam targets.  Then we’ll acquire a couple of ChemCam observations and Mastcam multispectral imaging of the Marimba pre-sieve dump pile before driving away.  After a short …

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27 July 2016

Sols 1414-1416: Keep on truckin’

MSL drove over 45 meters on Sol 1412, to a location with lots of bedrock exposed but most of it is coated by dust. So again we decided not to deploy the arm and acquire lots of ChemCam data instead. LIBS observations of targets named “Okahandja,” “Swakopmund,” and “Walvis Bay” will be followed by another long-distance RMI mosaic. Then the Right Mastcam will image the ChemCam targets and acquire a 5-image mosaic of the Murray Buttes. The Left Mastcam will take a 7-image mosaic of the bedrock in front of the rover before the Sol 1414 drive.

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21 July 2016

Sol 1405-1408: Bimbe Conglomerates

“…we found ourselves in an awesome place to study the blocks and conglomerates at ‘Bimbe.’”

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16 July 2016

Sols 1402-1404: A juicy weekend plan for Curiosity

Not surprisingly, this is a very power-hungry plan, so we had to trim down some activities during the SOWG meeting. But we managed to get almost everything into the plan, and have set ourselves up for the possibility of more contact science on Monday. Should be a fun weekend in Gale crater!

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14 July 2016

Sol 1401: Curiosity checks out blocky deposits

The drive on Sol 1400 went well, and Curiosity drove approximately 13 meters along the edge of the blocky deposit “Bimbe.”  Today’s plan involves a number of ChemCam and Mastcam observations to assess the composition and textural properties of three large blocks in the deposit.  We’ll also acquire a Mastcam mosaic to document the eastern edge of the deposit, and a Navcam observation to search for dust devils.  Then Curiosity …

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