Sol 843-852: Brushing19 December 2014
The Sol 842 command sequences were successfully received by Curiosity, and all the data needed for planning were returned to Earth, including MAHLI images of the right front wheel. These and other data were thoroughly analyzed, and the slip risk assessment team concluded that it is safe to brush the target "Santa Ana." So after multiple remote sensing ChemCam and Mastcam observations on Sol 843 and 844, the Dust Removal Tool will be used late in the afternoon on Sol 844.
To give the MSL tactical team a break next week, we are planning 10 (!) sols today. Essentially, it's a normal 3-sol weekend plan, with only REMS and associated background activities for the rest of the plan. Because we don't want to risk leaving the MAHLI dust cover open in the unlikely event of an arm fault, no MAHLI activities are included in the plan. So it was an easy day for me as MAHLI/MARDI uplink lead; I simply suggested Mastcam 100 mm imaging of the brushed spot in lieu of the usual MAHLI documentation images. After the Mastcam image is acquired, the APXS will be placed on Santa Ana for an overnight integration. A full multispectral Mastcam observation (all filters, both eyes) of the brushed spot is planned just after noon on Sol 845, when the illumination will be better for measuring subtle spectral features.
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.