Spirit Sol 578

Our previous drive went well. From here we can see what we think is the summit -- no more need to rely on uncertain orbital data for that, we hope -- and it's about 70m away.

I have this sol and, because we're in restricted sols now, just one more before I go back to Opportunity. And 70m is probably a little too far for us to make it in those two drives. Unless we can drive longer today ....

So I start campaigning for more drive time. I even try turning on the charm, which in my case is admittedly like turning on a rusty faucet in a long-abandoned house. And it's about as productive: no more drive time. We have to nap to keep the rover from overheating, and there's no science in the plan but the drive-support imaging, which obviously we can't cut.

We plan a drive that will probably make something like 30m progress (we command 50m but expect it to be cut short due to time), which will cut the remaining distance to the summit more or less in half, and leave it there. I'll just have to cross my fingers and hope Spirit has an unusually good day.

And if she doesn't, then, oh, well. So maybe someone else will have the actual experience of driving Spirit the last few meters up onto that rounded peak. It's just as well if the honor goes to one of the more regular Spirit drivers, who have done more than I have to actually climb her up this hill. I've got plenty of feathers in my cap already; it's getting a little crowded up there.

But it would be awfully cool to add this one.

[Next post: sol 581, August 21.]


Anonymous said...

So what happens when MSL lands and MER are still going strong? What Would Scott Drive?

Scott Maxwell said...

We'll cross that bridge when our rovers come to it. I can say this much for sure: that'll be a nice problem to have. :-)