Shoot and Scoot

Sol 007 has passed in a little bit of a blur – we have a plan for our drilling attempt!

Today we spent our tactical planning discussion weighing up the different options for where to drill. We were very aware that the nominal mission is about to come to an end, and so time is running out for us to meet our goal of drilling a suitable science target.

But we have to make sure that we understand what we will drill as well as possible, which means extensive characterisation of the area around the rover, before selecting a very specific drill target. So that means that we have requested images that are mostly of the ground and as close to the rover as we can get – alas, no more the distant vistas.

1
The PanCam (AUPE) view of the area just around the rover. Somewhere in here is our drill site – we just need to figure our where.

We ended up with what we know is a pretty complex plan, but one that on balance gives us the best chance of identifying a drill target (if our rover can understand our commands properly). Hopefully our idea of creating a microscope image mosaic, by driving very small steps backwards and taking images straight down, will pay off and we’ll have a nice ‘landing strip’ image of below the rove, of an area we’ve called Torton Row.

In addition to the ‘shoot and scoot’ imaging we’ve also asked for other images and spectrometer measurements that should help tell us about the composition of the material that we hope to drill.

We should then have a pretty simple plan for tomorrow:

drill!

 

Peter Grindrod – Science Working Team Chair (Sol 007)

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