I was SOWG Chair again planning Sol 452, which was disappointing because it was basically a repeat of Sol 451. When the Sol 451 plan was run on the testbed, a potential problem was discovered and the decision was made at the last minute not to send it to the rover. The problem, which may have… Read More
I'm SOWG Chair today, but focused on tomorrow's plan because Sol 451 is dedicated to recovering from last week's software anomaly. So far, the recovery is going well and we are planning to resume normal science operations on Sol 452. We have received lots of data acquired during the Cooperstown… Read More
The IAU Working Group for Planetary System Nomenclature has approved new names for three craters on Mars: Betio, Byala, and Halba. For more information, see the Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature.
There are no science observations planned this week while the rover flight software is upgraded. This upgrade was planned well in advance, and if all goes well science and drive planning will resume on Monday.
Planning started at 6:30 this morning to allow enough time to plan 3 sols before we have to send the command sequences to the rover by 19:00 this evening. The science theme groups requested lots of good observations, expecting that they wouldn't all fit into the plan. It was therefore a hectic… Read More
The rover is very close to a low scarp that is the target for contact science this weekend. The Sol 440 plan includes a bunch of targeted ChemCam and Mastcam observations, followed by a short drive (or "bump") to the low scarp dubbed "Cooperstown." The planning schedule is tight, so we started at… Read More
Last weekend's 3-sol plan included back-to-back drives on Sols 436 and 437. This is the first time in the mission that this has been attempted. There was no tactical planning on Monday to allow Mars and Earth time to synch up, but the rover drivers reviewed the available data before giving their… Read More
The IAU Working Group for Planetary System Nomenclature has approved the name Sitrah for a crater on Mars. For more information, see the map of MC-24 in the Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature.
The IAU Working Group for Planetary System Nomenclature has approved the name Dollfus for a crater on Mars. For more information, see the map of MC-19 in the Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature.
MSL planning is still restricted, so we won't get confirmation of the drive planned for Sol 431 in time for planning Sol 432, which is therefore an untargeted-remote-sensing sol. The 432 plan also includes an overnight test of CheMin's ability to analyze sample while communicating with the MRO… Read More