Oops. Due to some overly aggressive sequencing, yesterday's master sequence had a command to wait until a time that was about 18 seconds too late. So the spacecraft, following the rules, rejected it. The ops team noticed and fixed this during the day, so they missed the morning science but got our IDD sequences kicked off.
Another oops, this one mine: I was supposed to be available for some phone interview at 6 AM or so -- a live interview on WITI-6 TV, a Fox affiliate in Milwaukee (save your Mary Tyler Moore jokes). I thought the interview was later in the day. But I called the guy back and got it set up for tomorrow.
But even if everything here on Earth is screwed up, at least Spirit is doing well. Specifically, the MI is healthy and is sending back beautiful data (which everyone immediately crowds around in the science downlink assessment meeting). Arvidson gives everyone a little time to admire the images, then says, "OK, can we get back to work now?" And someone says, "No!"
Courtesy NASA/JPL-Caltech. A microscopic image of Adirondack, showing the fine-grained dust on its surface.
The RAT guy, who's been analyzing the feasibility of using the RAT on Adirondack, praises the "fabulous RSVP tools." It's not really my stuff he's praising here, it's Frank's visualization stuff and Jeng's kinematic stuff more than anything else. I'm filled with pride anyway. He shows pictures from RSVP simulations and pictures from their New York labs demonstrating that they can RAT the chosen spots. Naturally, since this is the first Mars use of the RAT, they're going to be careful, applying only about 60N of force (about what you feel when you hold a 13-pound bowling ball). They can ratchet it up to 100N of force (about 22 pounds) later.
LTP points out a rock that resembles an ammonite and jokes that we've found evidence of invertebrate life on Mars. (But if it were an ammonite, that would count as evidence of a Martian ocean. Hello, free shrimp!) More seriously, he cautions against the desire to check out every little thing, speaking of it as a "trap."
Later, the SOWG is its usual self. It turns out I'm not the only one who finds it a grueling experience: when I tell him I'm here on my day off, Mike Malin calls me a glutton for punishment.