Spirit Sol 88

Today Jason Fox becomes the latest in a long line of people to ask, "Don't you ever take days off?" Not yet, I don't. But I'm going to start after the end of the nominal mission. Just a few more sols.

We drove 36m yestersol, farther than I expected. But it wasn't as much as they were hoping for (a timeout problem related to an interaction between the driving commands cut off the sequence early). Apparently, they gave us a huge chunk of time to drive yestersol, way more than usual, and we were going for 60m. That would have been more than half the remaining distance to our 600m level. It also helped that we've at last gotten the go-ahead to make the autonav code take longer steps, which will make it go faster. We used to figure on autonav gaining us about 12m or 13m per hour; with the longer step size, we'll cover more like 20m per hour.

At least we understand the problem that bit us yesterday (and we're up to 529m, anyway; we're so close to 600m we can almost taste it). Chris is going to plan a 60m drive again today -- it will be a new single-sol distance record, and probably Spirit's last shot at holding that title.

Frank stops by on his way out, and Chris brags that he's going to set a new record tomorrow.

Frank says something about Opportunity's current driving record. "Well, it's not really driving if you don't have to avoid anything," Chris says -- the same joke he made yesterday.

"Who are you?" Frank asks, mock-quizzically. "Oh, yeah, you're the guy who used to hold the record."

"And I will again tomorrow, hopefully."

"Yeah, I hope so too," Frank says. "Because I'm looking forward to crushing it again."

Frank wins.

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