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Mars and Me

Opportunity Sol 1045 (Spirit Sol 1063)

30 Dec 2011, 09:23 UTC
Opportunity Sol 1045 (Spirit Sol 1063)
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So now Opportunity is sitting in front of a rock known as Santa Catarina, ready to IDD the heck out of it. As has happened before -- and recently, too -- the target is heavily shadowed, so our terrain mesh is poor. There's a sort of "king's crown" of mesh spikes surrounding the rock and pointing toward the FHAZ.This makes the whole day ... well ... interesting. Hand-estimating surface normals to the target is always dicey, and it's worse when you reflect that we can break the IDD if we're off by more than 15 degrees.So that we won't have to do this tomorrow, we also make some time for swinging the IDD away and taking another FHAZ of the IDD workspace. If only the rover had fingers she could cross.Meanwhile, Santa Catarina itself is an interesting rock. Well, not to me, maybe, but to the science team, and that's all it takes. According to Squyres, "Santa Catarina is the first rock we've seen at Meridiani where, a, we can say something about where on Mars it came from, and b, it's not made of blueberry stuff." Good news for them, then.Another piece of good news is that I actually ...

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