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MSL "Drive, drive, drive" toward Glenelg, The scientists (mostly) get the keys - sols 38-56
elakdawalla
post Sep 13 2012, 09:33 PM
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Matt Heverly tweeted earlier today that they're "on the road again," planning the seventh drive. So sol 39 will be a driving day, and it's time to start a new thread! In yesterday's press briefing, Joy Crisp said the plan was to "drive, drive, drive," though they will probably stop again before getting to Glenelg if they spot a good rock to use for the testing of drilling and sample acquisition and delivery.

As usual, keep conversation of the events and images of sols 30 through 37 in the appropriate thread.


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ngunn
post Sep 13 2012, 10:03 PM
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Can I just ask - why do we need such frequent thread changes? That last one was only 9 days. Not everybody keeps track of exactly when the image they want to comment on was acquired. I'm not surprised posts have been appearing in the wrong threads as fredk reports. For some who have interesting things to share this could be a barrier to contributing at all.
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Stu
post Sep 13 2012, 10:11 PM
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It makes sense for two reasons.

1) MSL's operations so far have been split into very definite stages, so posting about events which occur during those periods in exclusive threads is a lot tidier than having one or two very long threads, with posts referring to events past, present and future. That's just very messy.

2) In the future, when MSL is working her way up Mt Sharp, and we want to look back on the rocks she saw, and the vistas she stared out and up at before she headed for The Promised Land, for comparison, it will be much easier to locate that information.


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ngunn
post Sep 13 2012, 10:34 PM
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I agree that makes sense over the longer term. When we're up the hill we'll need to refer back to when we were down on the plain, and that should be in a separate place. But by then, who will remember the many different phases of the engineering checkout? I think one pre-Glenelg thread would have been enough, and more in keeping with the pace adopted for Opportunity, which has proved highly successful.

Anyhow, that's my last post on the subject. I love this place and don't want to rock the boat.
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brellis
post Sep 13 2012, 10:52 PM
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We mustn't ~needle~ the Admins about their threads. rolleyes.gif *backs away, carefully*
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elakdawalla
post Sep 13 2012, 10:58 PM
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I know I'm not alone among journalists (or scientists) who try to use UMSF as a historical archive of mission events, and for really nice-quality processed versions of raw images. In the beginning of the MER missions we weren't so careful, and those threads are incredibly difficult to hunt through for images. Over time the MER threads developed their method of beginning new threads with drives, which has really helped in sorting the history.

Keeping track of which sol the image was captured on is not only easy (it's listed in the filename of the Malin cameras, and is easy to firgure out using Ludo's or Joe's raw image browsers) but it's also important, because there is a context and a reason for taking photos that you can really only keep track of by following the mission chronology.

The first part of the mission will get chopped up into smaller pieces because there is so much interest and so many people trying new things with the images, and also because Curiosity's drives are short. Once we've gotten used to the mission and to the types of images it returns and we understand what we're seeing in the images and have begun to rely on certain people for producing certain kinds of image products, the post rate will drop and the amount of time covered in one thread will lengthen. Still, we'll generally try to keep it down to a few hundred posts per thread.

This thread may last longer than previous ones, because hopefully we're really looking at the beginning of the science mission here. I'm guessing it'll last until we arrive at Glenelg, and we'll break it and start a new thread there. Curiosity's mission, like Opportunity's, will probably separate fairly neatly into interleaved drives and science sites; these threads will reflect that.


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fredk
post Sep 13 2012, 11:06 PM
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I think the "sols x through y" subtitles are going to be really useful down the road. Another idea would be to demark the various mission phases on a route map, to help people find the corresponding thread.
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MahFL
post Sep 14 2012, 01:01 AM
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When Curiosity is driving in-between 100 m high mesa's and butts I think the plains will be quite forgotten smile.gif.
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Tom Tamlyn
post Sep 14 2012, 02:02 AM
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von Kármán lecture on Curiosity's first month starting now.

http://www.ustream.tv/nasajpl2
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Tom Tamlyn
post Sep 14 2012, 04:20 AM
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Not much that would have been new to umsf members.

Richard Cook estimated that ChemCam has made several hundred observations already (my question, submitted via chat).

Edit: Cook also said that when the drivers are able to employ the full range of Curiosity's navigation software capabilities (I think he mentioned visual odometery as one, although I didn't think that the VisDom mode is known for speed), Curiosity would be able to drive about 100-200 meters on a good day. The suggestion that 200 meter days might become routine on appropriate terrain (he didn't use those words, but that's my sense of what he was saying) is more aggressive than comments that I recall from past press conferences. But of course, we'll get there when we get there ...

This post has been edited by Tom Tamlyn: Sep 14 2012, 04:55 AM
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akuo
post Sep 14 2012, 05:35 AM
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200 metres per sol is the original engineering goal for MSL, that has been mentioned in various sources. Of course it depends on the navigation needed because of the terrain, but I'd expect it would be achievable in this terrain before the dunes and the mountain. I have been a bit surprised by the last few short drives - I thought there would be more of an increase after the first couple of drivers. Though I guess the last drive was targeted, since they needed a specific spot for the arm calibrations.


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mhoward
post Sep 14 2012, 08:13 AM
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Sol 38 drive images are down. Here's a quick Navcam anaglyph looking forward and right a bit.
Attached thumbnail(s)
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Tesheiner
post Sep 14 2012, 09:03 AM
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And here's a 5x1 navcam mosaic.
Attached Image


BTW, on MER the navcam shots were spaced 36 degrees so a whole 360deg. mosaic was composed by 10 pictures. But MSL seems to be always taking 12 images, spaced by 30 degrees although the cameras have the same FOV, IIRC.
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pmetschan
post Sep 14 2012, 05:33 PM
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sorry if this has been asked but is Glenelg visible in this image and if so where? Could someone "red arrow" it?
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djellison
post Sep 14 2012, 06:03 PM
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QUOTE (akuo @ Sep 13 2012, 10:35 PM) *
200 metres per sol is the original engineering goal for MSL, that has been mentioned in various sources.


I've never seen figures that high quoted anywhere. Where do you get that number from?
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