Opportunity Sol 413 (Spirit Sol 434)

Well, we were hoping for another 200+m drive, but we didn't quite make it. Autonav found some obstacles to avoid -- probably just larger ripples -- and that slowed it down enough that we made only 182m.

"Remember when that used to seem really far?" I ask Jeff rhetorically. "Now it's like, 182 meters -- I'm almost ashamed to show my face."

For a change of pace, thisol we're driving. South. 200m or so. It might be our last chance at a record-length drive before we reach the etched terrain, which the orbital images suggest is coming up fast.

So I get a little worried when our TUL relays the Mechanical team's request to do an engineering checkout drive. She's willing to take time out of the drive to do it, but I want one more shot at the record, as unlikely as it is that we'll make it. So I point out that the engineering checkout sequence hasn't been tested on Earth yet, and that seems to pretty much put the kibosh on it. Instead, the engineering checkout will be delayed until someone else's shift. I'm officially evil now.

As it turns out, we don't end up with enough drive time to set a new record anyhow. With our final allocation, we'll likely be able to cover only 180m or so. Oh, the shame. I'll never be able to show my face around here again.

[Next post: sol 441 (Opportunity sol 421), March 30.]

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