Spirit Sol 1141

Today we're headed to a chunk of rock called Torquas -- from Edgar Rice Burroughs's Mars novels, continuing the long-overdue theme of Mars-related science fiction names. Torquas is ahead of us and to the right, so my plan is to push forward, turn to the right, and head up to it. But a short chat with Ashitey and John convinces me that I'm not using this vehicle's mobility to best effect: I should just twist around the right front wheel toward it, then push forward as far as I need.

And this way lets me name the sequence "Twisting Toward Torquas." So it's definitely a winner.

So we get everything done, and right at the end of the CAM, just as we're wrapping up, we get bad news: New Horizons stole our uplink! And this isn't the first time this sol's uplink has been stolen -- MRO stole it last week, but we were able to carve out an hour when they were occulted. But now NH is in safe mode and wants that hour.

Oh, how have the mighty fallen! We used to beat up other projects and take their uplinks, as well as their lunch money, and now look at us. Well, I suppose we're merely getting our just deserts. But, as so often with this project, the team's rapid and highly capable response saves the day: Cindy, Byron, and others start running through possibilities, and end up working out a way for us to use a different station for the uplink. This window's only five minutes, but we're able to squeeze our sequences into it without modification. Go, team!

[Next post: sol 1144, March 23.]

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