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Southward from San Antonio to the Next Waypoint
Zeke4ther
post Apr 2 2010, 03:38 AM
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It seems about the right time to start a new thread as we have now turned East to Endeavour.
Hope no one minds...


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Astro0
post Apr 2 2010, 09:09 AM
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OT - but hooray! smile.gif
Oppy reaches the Sol 2200 milestone.
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Tesheiner
post Apr 2 2010, 05:03 PM
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It's ok to move to a new thread but it should not be constrained by that artificial waypoint I created here. There's no ground feature at that point.
I would propose to keep this thead until the next science stop.
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ElkGroveDan
post Apr 2 2010, 06:09 PM
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Based on James' latest ripple hazard map, we need to throw a party of some kind between here and that dogleg in the route to celebrate the end of the hazardous dunes. Let's hope we see a whole lot more 200 meter drives from here on out.



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BrianL
post Apr 2 2010, 06:36 PM
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I could be wrong, but I don't see them going back to 200 m drives ever again, even when Oppy hits nice flat tarmac. I thought they went to shorter drives for the sake of wheel longevity. I would be happy with 100 m drives, and a complete absence of attention-diverting cobbles between here and Endeavour.
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jamescanvin
post Apr 2 2010, 07:07 PM
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Yeah, I don't think we'll see anything much over 100m

QUOTE (ElkGroveDan @ Apr 2 2010, 07:09 PM) *
pple hazard map[/url], we need to throw a party of some kind between here and that dogleg in the route to celebrate the end of the hazardous dunes.


Not only that, but if IIRC at about that dogleg, Oppy will be as far from Duck Bay as she was at Eagle Crater!


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marsophile
post Apr 2 2010, 08:34 PM
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Does the lack of ripples in the green region imply a wind-sheltered area? If so, Oppy might be deprived of those beneficent Spring gusts to clean the accumulated dust off the Solar panels. In that case, it might be advisable to make haste in the traversal to Endeavour (balancing the power risk against the mobility risk).
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ElkGroveDan
post Apr 2 2010, 08:55 PM
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Not necessarily. As I recall Oppy's first cleaning events occurred back near Endurance. As I recall it was shortly after emerging from the crater but still on the nice clean tarmac up there.


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Guest_Bobby_*
post Apr 2 2010, 08:57 PM
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I think this new start to the drive from Twin Craters is going to be a long one without a stop to investigate
anything. I see nothing interesting for a while unless they spot something. I do hope we go 1 or 2 KM this time
before we do another science stop???

I do have one question: Is Stu a Comedian laugh.gif
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nprev
post Apr 2 2010, 09:10 PM
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It is indeed kind of tempting to think that we're in "nothing to see here, move along" mode by now. Looks like transit time-wise we're probably still at least an Earth year away from the outskirts of Endeavour, though, and there's got to be a balance between science return during that period vs. the admittedly very exciting possibility of examining phyllosilicates at the end of this road.

Not an easy set of calls to make (it'll be an ongoing process). It's incumbent upon the MER team to make every day of Oppy's mission as scientifically productive as possible, and it's by no means guaranteed that she'll survive to reach Endeavour. Wonder if they're using any sort of systems optimization models to aid their decision making.


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Stu
post Apr 2 2010, 09:20 PM
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QUOTE (Bobby @ Apr 2 2010, 09:57 PM) *
I do have one question: Is Stu a Comedian laugh.gif


Er...? blink.gif


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fredk
post Apr 2 2010, 09:28 PM
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I think what's happened at San Antonio/Twins is a sign that it'll take a lot now for the team to decide on a long science stop. The Black Cat rock wasn't deemed worth a closer look. Perhaps they decided it was probably another iron meteorite and since we've studied several now, it wouldn't add much to study another.

On the other hand, I'm not sure about the exact timing of the 2199 drive away from San Antonio. Was that drive sequenced before or after the first navcams showing Black Cat came down? Could we be in another Block Island situation here?

Once and if the surroundings change significantly from what we've been seeing at Meridiani (perhaps roughly halfway to Endeavour??), then I could see more science stops to study the new stuff.
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marsophile
post Apr 2 2010, 09:40 PM
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Concepción was interesting enough that we could have "eaten the lotus" there and stayed a long time. However we had our Odysseus (Squyres?) to force us back on to the path to Ithaca (as Rui used to call Endeavour). It will be difficult for any other potential stop to match Concepción in interest.
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climber
post Apr 2 2010, 09:46 PM
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QUOTE (marsophile @ Apr 2 2010, 11:40 PM) *
...It will be difficult for any other potential stop to match Concepción in interest.

Don't bet on that marsophile, we're on Mars...


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Tesheiner
post Apr 2 2010, 11:16 PM
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QUOTE (marsophile @ Apr 2 2010, 10:34 PM) *
Does the lack of ripples in the green region imply a wind-sheltered area?

Or the opposite maybe? I would like to see that topographic picture provided by tim53 overlayed on James' terrain analysis map; I have the impression that the "green" area fits more or less with the downslope part of the route and we may have a direct-hit from the wind there.

On the other topic, and speaking of science stops, I think there have been two reasons for those: the first one has been already addressed here but the second is the periodic need to put the wheels to rest due to high currents. Given that the rover is currently power limited due to the winter so the drives are shorter and with recharging sols planned from time to time, we may have the luck to avoid those "technical stops" until the winter is over.

My 2c.
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