Spirit Sol 676

Thisol should be easy. Spirit's been IDDing a patch of outcrop named "Seminole," on the target "Osceola." (It's coming up on Thanksgiving, and since we did Pilgrim names last year, we're doing American Indian names this year.) And the big science waypoint we've been heading toward has been renamed from "Waypoint" to "Miami." I'm getting a kick out of this, having gone to Seminole High School and all. But I digress.

So all we're doing is repeating the same stuff they did yesterday on Osceola, only we're changing the target to Abiaka (another Seminole chief). Load up those sequences, change the targets and a few sequence IDs, and you're done.

As is so often the case, it's not that simple. Abiaka unfortunately turns out to be a little too vertical (strictly speaking, Abiaka is a too-vertical normal to a too-horizontal rock surface) -- a problem because the IDD gets confused when you ask it to move straight up and down. That has to do with the target being too close to a wrist-flip condition, where the IDD could choose almost equally well between two different wrist configurations, and if conditions on Mars vary only slightly from the predicts, it could change its mind in the middle and decide it can't do what we want.

The remedy for this is known but tedious: tweak the angle of the target, so that it's tilted slightly away from vertical, until the simulation says you've gone far enough. What complicates this is that we can't tilt the normal too far, or the RAT brushing won't work. Also making it more complex is that John's having his shadow, Ashley, handle the IDD sequence, and while she generally knows what she's doing, she's still new to this and somewhat slow at it.

Oy. Well, it takes forever, but it gets done, and that's what matters.

[Next post: sol 678, November 29.]

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