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Full Version: Disappearing and moved pieces in MI photos
Unmanned > Mars & Missions > MER > Opportunity
Sol 199 Opportunity
I wonder if someone with more knowledge could explain how these items get moved please?

In the first pair of links, an item has moved but everything else stays in the original place.
In the second pair of links the item has been moved and the indentation left behind is perfect, so this suggests to me that it has not been removed by a clumsy robotic arm or clamp but by a pair of tweezers or similar. No conspiracy just a genuine amazement at how these moved between shots on the same Sol and a hope that someone can shed more light on it. For example, what instrument does the rover carry which could move these without making some kind of large indentation in the ground as they were moved?

Link 1 to original
Link 2 to original

Link 3 to original
Link 4 to original

Phil Stooke
From the Mission Manager's Report for sol 199 in the MER Analyst's Notebook:

Sol 199: Opportunity's planned RATting of target "Jiffypop" failed. The seek scan
process successfully found the rock surface but a motor stall prevented any other RAT
activities from taking place. The planned IDD MI images of the RAT area and remote
sensing were successfully acquired.

The 'seek scan' is a process where the arm tries to locate the surface precisely before using the brush or RAT grinder. It touched the surface, moving some bits of rock. The rest of the RAT process was interrupted, but they got the before and after images. It's not true that only one item was moved. Blink between the images and you will see several other movements.

So the brush of the RAT dislodged and moved the tiny pieces of whatever-it-is and that caused the movement/disappearance in these before/after images.
Thank you.
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