Sols 1041-1043: Busy weekend planned

10 July 2015
The rover bumped back 33 cm on Sol 1039, placing all 6 wheels on firm ground and allowing contact science on the bright rocks near the top of the slope in front of the vehicle.  So the weekend plan is a full one, including both contact science and a drive back toward the southwest.  First, on Sol 1041, ChemCam will passively (no laser) acquire spectra of the sky and a rock dubbed "Monarch" before firing its laser at "Frog" and "Mosquito."  Mastcam will then take pictures of these rock targets as well as "Elk" and "Lamoose."  Later that afternoon, the arm will be deployed to take MAHLI images of Lamoose, Mosquito, and the REMS UV sensor, then place the APXS on Lamoose for an overnight integration.  The drive, with DAN measurements along the way, is planned for Sol 1042.  In addition to the usual post-drive imaging, Mastcam will again look for spots on the "back" side of the Sun.  Overnight, SAM will complete a calibration activity.  On Sol 1043, ChemCam will take some calibration data, Navcam will search for clouds near the northern horizon, and Mastcam will take another pair of Sun images.  Finally, late that night, CheMin will perform its own calibration activity.  So the science team is very busy today, with activities planned for every science instrument on the rover!

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.