Spirit Sol 124

Yestersol, we traversed an incredible 180m!

Well, not really. What happened was, we did our turn for comm (turning the rover to the best direction for communication, so that we get more data back) after telling the rover it was in a new site. This happened to be the right thing to do for yesterday's drive, but it's unusual, and it confused the ground software that processes the results. That software saw that the turn took place at position 0,0 (in the new site, but the software in question doesn't know about that), so it thought that we'd driven all the way back to where we'd started -- roughly doubling our actual distance traveled. In reality, we still covered 95.21m, which is yet another new record.

Like most of the records we've been setting, this one won't stand for long. We normally spend at most an hour driving each sol, sometimes two. Nextersol, we'll get about two and a half hours. For the sol after that, if our available power level remains high, they're planning to allocate three hours to driving, which will really let us strut our stuff.

Not that we have anything to complain about. Even with the drive-time allocations we've been getting, we're racking up the meters. In fact, we can now say we're racking up the miles: I missed it, but a couple of sols ago we passed 1.6km, which is roughly one full mile. We're over 1.9km total distance now, and we're about halfway from Bonneville to the Columbia Hills.

The meetings are happening so close together on our new compressed schedule that we're showing the same animation practically back to back -- sometimes literally only 15 or 30 minutes apart. Also, it's now usually the same people at each meeting, and the sequence doesn't change much. So today Art suggests that we skip one of the showings.

"Are you going to feel unloved if we don't show your hard work?" he asks me.

"No," I reply. "I'll feel unloved whether we show it or not."

"Good!" he says, and we move on.

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