Opportunity Sol 423 (Spirit Sol 443)

The previous drive went splendidly, just splendidly. We're right where we wanted to be, a few meters off Viking Crater, with a fabulous view into the hole.

Thisol we're planning two drives, to execute over the weekend. On 423, the first drive takes us from Viking to its twin, Voyager. The rover will take some pictures and then, on sol 424, we'll start an autonav-only drive from Voyager toward Erebus.

Erebus is another 800m away or so. That's a distance that used to take months to cover, but at the rate we're now progressing, it'll take only about a week. The sol-424 drive should eat about 100m of that all by itself, and leave us set up Monday to do a drive-by of a small flat crater we can discern in the orbital imagery.

Since we got the downlink late yesterday afternoon, I spent a few hours working ahead last night, so that when I come in, I'm almost done. Of course, "almost done" in rover-driver terms means "I just need to spend a few more hours obsessing over it." Which is exactly what I do, of course.

Evidently I have a reputation for it. At the CAM, Jeff Favretto asks Cooper -- thisol's RP-2 -- if he wants to go over the sequence in detail. "Or, no," Jeff corrects himself, "you like to just skim through them, right?"

"Yeah," Cooper jokes, "-- unlike Scott, who goes over it and over it until you beg him to stop."

I guess it's not a bad reputation, as these things go. There are worse things you could be known for.

[Next post: sol 446 (Opportunity sol 426), April 5.]

Courtesy NASA/JPL-Caltech. Viking Crater, right where it's supposed to be.

No comments: