The Sol 488 plan includes ChemCam and Mastcam observations of the Cumberland drill sample that was dumped in front of the rover, completing the campaign on the dump pile. Then MAHLI will be used to image the rover's wheels, to more completely assess any damage.
I'm on my way home from the ChemCam team meeting, so again not involved in MSL tactical operations, but saw that the Sol 487 plan includes dumping the last of the Cumberland drill sample and MAHLI imaging of the dump pile. The sample handling system (CHIMRA) will be cleaned out after holding the… Read More
Last week's flight software upgrade went well, so the Sol 485 plan includes science activities. Specifically, MAHLI images and an APXS integration of a target in front of the rover are intended to characterize the area where the remaining Cumberland drill sample will be dumped. I'm currently at a… Read More
I'm uplink lead for the Opportunity Microscopic Imager and engineering cameras (Hazcams and Navcams) today, so have not been able to follow MSL planning as closely as usual. Operating two rovers on Mars at the same time is a good problem to have! The MSL weekend plan includes more MAHLI imaging… Read More
The drive planned for last weekend went well, so another drive is planned for Sol 472, along with targeted remote science and MAHLI imaging of the rover wheels. Such images of the wheels are now planned more frequently, to assess possible changes in the tears in the wheels. While the arm is… Read More
There was some concern about tears in the rover wheels, but today we got the go-ahead to drive, with no restrictions on distance or drive mode. The tears in the wheels were expected based on testing, and the wheels are designed to survive such damage without affecting mobility. We are planning 3… Read More
MSL launched from Florida two years ago today--I was pretty nervous that day, but the mission has obviously gone extremely well! Planning is restricted this week (results of the drive planned for Sol 465 will not arrive until tonight), so we are planning 3 sols of untargeted remote sensing to get… Read More
I'm SOWG Chair again today, planning Sol 465, which includes the first drive since the electrical issue over a week ago. The change in power bus voltage appears to have been caused by an electrical short in the Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator (RTG), the nuclear power source for the rover. … Read More
MSL science planning has resumed! Today we are planning 3 sols, with the focus on dropping more of the drill sample into 4 of SAM's cups, for future analysis. While the arm is out, we'll take MAHLI images of the rover wheels and a Mastcam image of the sample seive, for engineering assessment. … Read More
There will be no MSL science planning again today, as analysis of the recent electrical issue continues. We are hope to return to normal science operations on Friday, planning 3 sols for the weekend.