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Opportunity Sol 518 (Spirit Sol 539)

9 Jul 2010, 23:51 UTC
Opportunity Sol 518 (Spirit Sol 539)
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Somewhat to my surprise, the drive executed quite well. We made the whole 15m, right along the intended path, so we're just continuing along the Blue Line today.The drive even went faster than we'd thought, executing in only an hour and a half, as opposed to the two and a half we expected. But it turns out this is due to unintentional cheating. When we used to charge along the plains, we used step-skipping -- if autonav saw a sufficiently benign path, the rover could take a couple of extra steps without updating its world map. We don't want to be doing that now, but we forgot to turn it off, so the rover didn't pay as close attention to the drive as it was supposed to. That's why it went faster. Unfortunately, we'll have to turn off step-skipping as of thisol.We also continue to face a data-products crunch. The problem right now is not the amount of data on the rover, but the number of files, a separate limit. The kind of driving we've been doing generates huge numbers of data products, and our downlink has been fairly poor, so today we have a choice to make. We can ...

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