Spirit Sol 1101

Brenda Franklin is back and feisty again, and she's made us hundred-sol cookies. Chocolate chip, this time, in addition to the yummy ginger cookies she normally makes every time the last two digits are "00." Of course, we're not just planning sol 1100 today, we're also planning 1101 -- sol 13 in binary, as I point out.[1] ("I hope we don't have a sol-16 problem," John Wright quips.)

Yestersol's IDD placement didn't make contact with the MB, which has us a little worried. John looks carefully at it and points out that the target was floating above the mesh, which probably explains it. But this really sucks, since it means we've probably blown a science observation and might need to redo it. I send email to Ray and hope for the best.

Working with John, with no shadow, is such a pleasure.[2] It's rare these days that I get to work with one of the old-school RPs with no shadows around, and it's just so damn nice. We're both on the same page, and everything goes smoothly. Just like it oughta.

And you can tell those old days are getting pretty old. Today, Opportunity's drive will take her over the 10km mark! Spirit has 7km coming up, but Opportunity is probably going to continue to increase the gap from now on.[3] We'll see if the whole slow-and-steady thing works out.

But there's one thing we two old-school RPs fail to notice: we forget to enable the MB_2 contact switch before doing the MB placement. Kind of a rookie mistake, actually; and normally, fr_check catches this, but today it doesn't because of an unusual sequencing choice. (Which I later fix it to catch.) Happily, Rich Morris was paying attention in the IDD Flight School briefings I gave at the IST team meetings, because he catches this at the walkthrough.

Maybe he should start shadowing as an RP. I think we might need him.


[1] I make jokes in binary? Wow, I really am a geek!

[2] As you'll recall, John Wright and I were two of the original eight rover drivers -- and two of the four original Spirit drivers, at that. John is also one of my favorite people in this world, someone who makes me feel lucky to have the life I have. I'd never tell him that. :-) But it's true, all the same.

[3] Yep. Opportunity's now past 34km -- the second-most-traveled vehicle in the solar system, after Lunokhod 2. And we're going to break that Soviet record if it kills us.

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