Opportunity Sol 463 (Spirit Sol 483)

I'm back on Spirit as of today, but yesterday they started a two-sol MB integration. So I basically have nothing to do. (But I do have one nice surprise at the SOWG meeting: I overhear Brenda say, "Even Squyres admitted the other day that Spirit is now his favorite.")

So I do some other work and then go hang out with the Opportunity drivers. The good news is, the wheels steered, exactly the way we wanted. Jeff and Frank are mucking around with the candidate sequence Khaled and I wrote yesterday (they almost seem apologetic about it, but I tell them, "Mess with it to your heart's content"). And just after I poke my head in, there's a meeting about the Opportunity mobility plan.

I tag along for the meeting. Khaled's there, along with Jeng and Mark Maimone. When Jeff, Frank, and I show up, I count heads. Counting Mark as one, that makes six rover drivers -- one for each wheel. Not that we'd ever overdo things around here.

The meeting consists of getting everybody (RPs, managers, scientists, mechanical people, press people, and more) together in the SOWG room to tell them that the wheels steered and that we're going to try to drive.

Well, all right, there's a little more to it than that. The real point of the meeting is to go over the details. Mark is the main one doing the analysis, and is, as usual, amazingly thorough. Plot after plot, image after image, he methodically lays out the entire sequence of events. Which can be summarized this way: we turned the wheels, and sank a tiny amount (as expected) when we did that. And we're ready to try driving.

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