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Opportunity Sol 1032 (Spirit Sol 1053)

20 Dec 2011, 02:47 UTC
Opportunity Sol 1032 (Spirit Sol 1053)
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Yestersol's drive didn't go quite as planned. Opportunity drove through a small depression that increased her tilt to 7.44deg -- just above her tilt limit of 7deg -- so she stopped, which of course was the right thing to do. But she's actually fine, and ready to continue.[1]The remainder of the drive is only about 8m, and that stops us in a perfectly safe position, about 2m from the rim. But there's a ritual now: any rim approach causes some people to panic, and after a lengthy discussion, we end up moving the final position back another 50cm. Which is how it always happens. It's just silly: we're not going to be wrong by 2m over a drive of 8m, and even if we were, we have reactive checks -- such as the tilt limit that correctly stopped us today -- that would catch our mistake before the vehicle was in danger. The 50cm pullback is just a compromise to end the discussion, nothing more.What bugs me about this most, I think, is the fact that the extra 50cm of buffer is there not for any technical reason but to mollify the exaggerated concerns of people who aren't RPs. There, ...

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