Opportunity Sol 563 (Spirit Sol 584)

Yestersol's ambitious drive accomplished little. But it's not our fault: as part of our post-Purgatory paranoia, Opportunity has been driving with lower-than-usual current limits set on her drive motors. This is meant to detect when she's bogged down in a ripple (since the motors have to push harder than usual in that case), but in this case, they tripped during an otherwise perfectly nominal turn-in-place on a patch of outcrop.

This is the first time this has happened to me, but not, as it turns out, the first time it's happened. It's the fourth, and Jeff Biesiadecki's had enough. Thisol we're raising the current limits, and picking up the drive where we left off.

"It's spooky how close we are to the predicted position, though," Jeff muses as he looks at the situation in RSVP. We drove about 5m or so, and the rover really is right where RSVP said she would be at the turn-in-place point. Which is always nice, and something we've seen from our software over and over again. We really are quite good at this.

After lunch, I'm in the elevator with several other members of the uplink team. I push the button for the fifth floor and then realize I don't have time to stop off there. "You ought to be able to unpush the button," Jeff says. "Maybe it should toggle on and off."

"Yeah, but then people like me who push the button multiple times would have to be careful. We'd have to be sure to hit it an odd number of times."

"If you were in a hurry, you could toggle off other people's buttons and get to your floor faster," Jeff points out.

This is how I know I'm at JPL. I'm in an elevator, and we're redesigning the thing's user interface.

The sol goes well, though it takes longer than it should given that we're supposedly just picking up yestersol's drive sequence. (We can't resist the urge to tinker. That's the Elevator Lesson.) "I'm hungry," Beth Dewell says at 7PM or so. "I think I hate these late sols as much as Scott hates the early ones."

Feel my pain, baby!

[Next post: sol 586 (Opportunity sol 567), August 26.]

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