Sol 104-107 Update on Curiosity from USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: To Bump Or Not To Bump

22 November 2012 The "touch and go" planned for Sol 102 went well, the data arriving in time for planning Sol 104. There was a lot of discussion of whether to "bump" the rover a few meters farther to improve the view toward Yellowknife Bay, our near-term drive objective. Ultimately we decided to stay put, which allowed us to accurately target Mastcam mosaics in the Sol 105-107 plan. I was SOWG Chair for this first of 2 "multisol" plans which would allow the operations team to take a break during the Thanksgiving holiday. Because it was the first time we had planned more than one sol's worth of activities at a time, we kept the plan simple. In addition to the Mastcam mosaics, we planned some atmospheric observations and DAN (neutron spectrometer) measurements in our new location. This planning approach worked well, without stressing the tactical team very much. Still, I was glad when we were done, as I needed a break from tactical operations to catch up on other work before the holiday. Happy Thanksgiving!