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MSL Post Landing - Commissioning Period & Early Observations, Commissioning Activity Period 1B - Sols 9 through 16
Explorer1
post Aug 17 2012, 05:31 PM
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Visuals are up. Very interesting...

EDIT: started....
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Drkskywxlt
post Aug 17 2012, 05:32 PM
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Based on the imagery, looks like "Glenelg", where the 3 terrain units meet just east of Curiosity will be the first target.
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fredk
post Aug 17 2012, 05:37 PM
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Also based on this caption.
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Drkskywxlt
post Aug 17 2012, 05:56 PM
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John Grotzinger: "~1-1.5 months to get to Glenelg, ~1 month of science at Glenelg, ~end-of-the-year start drive to base of Mt. Sharp".

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OWW
post Aug 17 2012, 05:59 PM
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1.5 months for a 500m drive? Isn't that a bit slow compared to MER?
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xflare
post Aug 17 2012, 06:02 PM
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QUOTE (OWW @ Aug 17 2012, 06:59 PM) *
1.5 months for a 500m drive? Isn't that a bit slow compared to MER?


I thought I heard upto 2 months? I guess that includes possible science stops.
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Explorer1
post Aug 17 2012, 06:04 PM
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Yeah, Oppy at its best did that in a day or three. Of course the terrain there was even better, and they knew there were no science targets at all.
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Drkskywxlt
post Aug 17 2012, 06:07 PM
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Neither MER was traveling 100m/sol for a long time after landing (not even during the primary mission IIRC). They're talking ~10m/sol, which will probably be (IMO) an average of some sols of stationary observations/science alternating with some sols of moderate, 10s of meters, driving.
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Paolo
post Aug 17 2012, 06:07 PM
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I have lost a few sentences. do they plan to do anything at Goulburn Scour?


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I'm one of the most durable and fervent advocates of space exploration, but my take is that we could do it robotically at far less cost and far greater quantity and quality of results.

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Drkskywxlt
post Aug 17 2012, 06:10 PM
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QUOTE (Paolo @ Aug 17 2012, 01:07 PM) *
do they plan to do anything at Goulburn Scour?


Imaging with all cameras and laser-blasting with Chemcam. That's probably it. They're worried about the drill being damaged on those rocks.
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charleski
post Aug 17 2012, 06:31 PM
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Interesting that they will only be drilling after their first big review. The drill's their crown jewel and it looks like they're being really careful with it.
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Ondaweb
post Aug 17 2012, 06:40 PM
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ChemCam is so cool. Roger implied they hoped to find out something about the composition of the "dessert varnish" that covers rocks on Mars (and Earth). I've wondered if Earth varnish has anything to do with bacteria. The 276K temperature recorded suggests a similar possibility on Mars may be possible (though, of course, highly unlikely.)
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charleski
post Aug 17 2012, 07:35 PM
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Can the ChemCam wear out? I'm not sure if this is a silly question, but one of the replies in the Telecon seemed fairly specific in terms of the maximum number of pulses that they'd be using in the coming weeks. I looked through Wiens et al. and couldn't find any specific indication, but was interested to see that they were only allowed to fire 4500 pulses during the depth profile tests.
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mcaplinger
post Aug 17 2012, 07:46 PM
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QUOTE (charleski @ Aug 17 2012, 12:35 PM) *
Can the ChemCam wear out?

From http://www.lpi.usra.edu/meetings/lpsc2008/pdf/1500.pdf -- "However, the instrument was limited to 30 analyses per sol, realistic for its expected laser lifetime of ~20,000 analyses."
I'm not sure this applies to the flight unit but I would expect the laser to have some finite lifetime.


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Explorer1
post Aug 17 2012, 07:47 PM
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I'm wondering about the drill's longevity myself. I know Spirit's wore out a lot faster than Oppy's because of the difference in rock hardness, and so had to limit themselves to very interesting targets.
Will we have to wait until a drilling is done to see how much wear and tear it can take?
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