Sol 870 Update: Keeping MAHLI Safe

15 January 2015

This morning the MSL operations team realized that the results of the MAHLI activities planned for Sol 870 will not be received until Saturday.  Therefore, if there is a problem on Sol 870 that halts the sequence while the MAHLI dust cover is open, the cover would remain open through the Martin Luther King holiday weekend.  To eliminate the risk of such a situation and possible effects on the software upgrade planned for next week, the team decided not to send the Sol 870 command sequences to the rover.  Unfortunately, this means that the brushing and drill target investigations planned yesterday will not occur, but they can be done after the software has been upgraded. The Sol 869 activities planned yesterday will not be affected by this change, and should be completed today.

Meanwhile, many of the MAHLI self portrait images acquired on Sol 868 have been received.  When all of them have been returned to Earth, they will be assembled into the latest rover "selfie."

by Ken Herkenhoff

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.