Ken’s Sol 1614-1616 Update: Delayed planning

17 February 2017 – The Sol 1612 drive went well, and there is a nice bedrock block in the arm workspace. We received a bit more data than expected before planning started, but not enough to finalize drive plans and contact science targets. As expected, we received more data during planning, including color images of the arm workspace that were very useful in selecting contact science targets. The late arrival of the necessary data caused delays in the standard uplink planning timeline, but the tactical team did a great job and we have an excellent weekend plan. It’s good to see REMS extended blocks back in the plan after the successful software upgrade.

On Sol 1614, ChemCam and Right Mastcam will observe bedrock targets named “Columbia Falls,” “Spider Lake,” and “Loon Stream.” Mastcam will measure dust in the atmosphere and acquire a 3×3 mosaic of a layered block dubbed “Aroostook River.” Late that afternoon, MAHLI will image the REMS UV sensor and acquire mosaics of another bedrock target named “Chain Lakes” and of Spider Lake. The APXS will then measure the chemistry of the Spider Lake area at overlapping locations to look for spatial variations in composition. Early the next morning, Mastcam will again measure dust in the atmosphere and Navcam will search for clouds. Later on Sol 1615, more drill diagnostic tests are planned, then the APXS will be placed on its calibration target for an overnight integration. A short drive to the dark dunes south of the rover is planned on Sol 1616, followed by unstowing the arm and post-drive imaging. Another busy (sometimes hectic) day for me as SOWG Chair!

Ken Herkenhoff is a ChemCam RMI specialist. An archive of Ken’s past updates can be read at http://astrogeology.usgs.gov/news/.

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.

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