Opportunity Sol 296 (Spirit Sol 317)

We're continuing the trek out of the crater, today with Jeff and me at the helm. Mostly it's a straightforward drive sol, following the now-usual pattern of driving up to a point and automatically continuing if we're where we're supposed to be.

Steve wants to squeeze in a science observation that would cost 10 megabits. The drive is the only place we can scavenge for it, but Steve makes it very clear that the drive itself is the top priority. "If you can't do it, 'no' is a fine answer," he says.

"Well, let's see," I muse. "We could maybe save four on the NAVCAM panorama wings, go down to two bits per pixel there."

Jeff nods. "And one from the penultimate front HAZCAM -- go down to half a bit per pixel, like the last one."

Halfway there already, but we've already picked the low-hanging fruit. "Can you get by with five megabits?" we ask Steve.

"Nah," he says, "thanks anyway, but if we're going to do this, we'd need the whole ten or nothing."

Jeff frowns, thinking about it. "Well ..." he begins.

"No!" says Art.

As we start to get back to it, I think of a way to scrounge another megabit. I turn around and slide over to the phone. "If we --"

"No!" Art snaps again.

Jeff and I shrug and turn back to the drive. A minute later he looks at me. "Well," he says, "if we reduce the motor/IMU data ...."

Art's head snaps up. "No!"

Now I know how a puppy feels.

[Next post: sol 327 (Opportunity sol 306), December 3.]

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