Astrogeology Science Center

Sol 94 update on Curiosity from USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: Driving in Flagstaff

10 November 2012

The fifth scoop of Martian soil was successful, and Sol 94 planning was focussed on processing the sample and delivering it to CheMin. The X-ray diffraction instrument will then analyze the sample overnight. There was enough power and time left for a couple Mastcam mosaics in the afternoon.

I served as Science Uplink Representative (SUR) for the first time since Sol 3. The operations schedule has been significantly compressed since then, so had less time to get my job done. And this was my first tactical shift since the transition to remote operations, which added the challenge of interacting with the rest of the team from my office in Flagstaff. We had some trouble with the web broadcast tool that were overcome by starting over a couple times, otherwise planning went well. The SUR is the science team lead for the second shift, so I ended up working until almost 11 PM local time. This would have been less of a problem if the first storm of the season hit Flagstaff the same night. During a break between the last two sequence reviews, I decided to drive home before the roads got icy. It was more difficult to participate in the last meeting using my laptop and home phone, but it worked. Hopefully the weather will be better for Sol 95 planning.