Spirit Sol 53

I'm tired and grumpy. I should have slept in.

I just want to clear out some of my backlog of work and go home, but I can't even sit down before I'm interrupted. Alex Hayes is panicking because the initial conditions file for this sol seems to have the rover turned backward. It's keeping him from getting some shadow modeling done. I take him with me to go talk to the mobility folks, and we work it out (it turns out that the INCONS file is actually fine, it's just that the terrain mesh is misleading).

Just after I take care of that, I'm interrupted again. This time it's by Phil, a nice guy, one of the RAT PULs. He's working on Opportunity, where they're parked on a slope as they inspect El Capitan, and the spot they want to RAT is just slightly out of reach. He needs help figuring out how to use HyperDrive to do their analysis -- they need to figure out what spot they need to get the rover into. He first asks Chris, who decides that since I'm not on shift, I should be the guy to help.

Grr. I need to put a stop to that.[1]

Anyway, I talk with Phil about it for a while, then connect him with Jeng, who should be able to help him better than I can. This also leads to another distraction: when I take him over to Jeng, Mark shows me today's images.

But this is an OK distraction, as distractions go. I slap on the 3-D glasses and start taking a look around. It's very bumpy and rocky here, possibly tough going for the rover, but the feature that stands out for me immediately is a rock that looks, I swear, just like the Pope's hat.[2] In fact, it almost looks like the Pope got buried, standing up, on Mars. We have to explore this. Maybe dig up the poor guy.

I blow through a few hours' worth of work, but I'm still grumpy and my wrists are hurting. And this is, you know, my day off. So fuck it, I leave.

And as it happens, I run into John Wright at the Subway on my way home. Every time I try to leave, they keep pulling me back IN!

Courtesy NASA/JPL-Caltech. The "Pope hat" rock -- Humphrey -- is at the lower left of this image. We got much better images of it later, but this is probably the one I was looking at.


[1] Although I should say that this was perfectly reasonable behavior on Chris's part. He was properly prioritizing his own ability to focus on tactical issues, putting that ahead of other considerations. It just annoyed me because I was grumpy.

[2] Of course, the proper term for the Pope's hat is "miter," but I think "Pope hat" sounds much funnier.

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