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Opportunity Sol 528 (Spirit Sol 549)

20 Jul 2010, 06:27 UTC
Opportunity Sol 528 (Spirit Sol 549)
(200 words excerpt, click title or image to see full post)

The weekend's drive went splendidly, racking up 32m. And we're poised to do it again, with a broad lane continuing before us.Except for the speed bump. About 12m away from us is a decision point, where the trough sort of splits into two other troughs. Each of the branches (Left Fork and Right Fork) has a ripple in front of it, a ripple with geometry that's ominously similar to Purgatory's. Alternatively, we're sitting more or less at another fork in the road -- but the third choice that provides (Right-of-Right Fork) appears to end in a cul-de-sac with bad-looking stuff at the end. But we don't have to take any of those three paths. We could start ripple-hopping to the east, hoping to find a better trough.Thus begins the Big Debate. Right-of-Right Fork gets thrown out pretty quickly, as just a way to store up trouble. Of Left Fork vs. Right Fork, Rob Sullivan's analysis shows that Left Fork's ripple is shorter but steeper, and angle is more worrisome than height, so that's a loser.Which leaves us with Right Fork and ripple-hopping. The eventual decision is to prefer Right Fork: ripple-hopping affords no immediate progress toward our goal, is not ...

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