Sol 103 Update on Curiosity from USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: Restricted

18 November 2012

Overall, my first shift as SOWG Chair since the transition to remote operations went well. The better tool for sharing video on the web was not working again today, so we had to resort to the backup tool, which again was slower and frustrating at times. But we couldn't plan much science anyway because today was a "restricted" sol. On of the disadvantages of working on "Earth time" (reasonable hours Pacific time) is that, almost half the time, we receive data from MSL too late in the day to react to it tactically. So we have to plan a day in advance, and assume that the previously planned activities went well. We planned a 35-meter drive yesterday, but won't know how it went until late this afternoon. Therefore, we could plan only activities that didn't depend on accurate knowledge of the rover position and orientation. The most important activity we planned for Sol 103 is a checkout of MSL's drill, which won't take too long, so we had room for opportunistic science activities. These included a DAN active measurement of the hydrogen below the surface at our new location, and a 180-degree Navcam panorama to complete the coverage of the area surrounding the rover. We'll use the latter to plan observations over the Thanksgiving holiday, assuming all goes well.