Spirit Sol 80

I spend basically the whole night working on the new delivery of RoSE, and am able to cut a preliminary release (missing only one feature, which I'll do tomorrow) for testing.

I interrupt this only for the downlink assessment meeting. The MB PUL reports some surprising results from their instrument. We don't seem to see through the dust on Mazatzal -- they see more Fe3+, not less, after brushing.

Someone also has a presentation diagramming rock layers, from the outside in:

Loose mantle
Cemented coating
Rock alteration products (friable)
Moderately altered rock (indurated)
Unaltered parent rock

The RAT can in principle drill all the way down, but so far we're seeing surface phenomena only. They plan to spend more time here than they originally scheduled; now the drive is set to start on sol 84 or 85. This is partly because this will have to be a recovery sol: the APXS doors did not fully open on our latest placement (roughly, it turns out we have to push a little harder on them than we've been told to), so they need to redo the work. As a result, they won't RAT tomorrow; tomorrow will be devoted to MB/APXS and remote sensing. By the time they discovered this APXS problem, the next sol's APXS sequences were already set, so they'll have two sols' worth of data to redo.

Basically the entire extended mission will be devoted to exploring the Columbia Hills. Of course, first we have to get there, or try to. They're planning 60 sols, plus 30 contingency sols, for that. Over the next few days, they'll try to work out how long it will take to drive there, and how long Spirit is likely to last. This will tell them how much time they have left over to do science at random targets of interest along the way.

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