Sol 841: ChemCam Recovery17 December 2014
I was happy to see that the Sol 840 MAHLI images we planned on Monday came out nicely. There was no MSL tactical planning yesterday, because of the offset between Mars time and Pacific time, and planning started at 6 AM PST today. We were hoping to be able to brush off one of the Sol 840 MAHLI targets, but there is still concern about the risk of slipping off the small rock under the right front wheel during brushing. Such slippage might damage the Dust Removal Tool, but MAHLI imaging is safe (as it was on Sol 840), so MAHLI images of "San Andreas" and "Oro Grande" are planned for Sol 841. In addition, MAHLI images of the wheel will be acquired to better assess slip risk.
Mastcam and ChemCam observations of various targets are also planned for Sol 841. The ChemCam team continues to test and refine new procedures for acquiring good chemical and imaging data without using the autofocus laser, which is no longer working well. Excellent ChemCam data are being acquired, but it takes longer without the autofocus laser.
Dates of planned rover activities described in these reports are subject to change due to a variety of factors related to the Martian environment, communication relays and rover status.