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Opportunity Sol 580 (Spirit Sol 599)

9 Sep 2010, 15:29 UTC
Opportunity Sol 580 (Spirit Sol 599)
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Thisol's drive shapes up to be rather dull. We didn't get drive-direction PCAMs for some reason, so we're limited to the NCAM mesh, and this limits our drive to 15m or less.But, of course, it's never quite that simple. Thisol there are two complications. First is the comm heading. We end this drive by heading south along a trench to a point where we hope we'll be able to cross a ripple on the next sol. Because of this southerly trajectory, the most natural heading after this drive would be about 200deg. But this is a terrible direction for comm. Good would be about 310deg.On Spirit -- no problem. Turn in place. But on Opportunity, turns-in-place are limited. Paolo checks out an alternative drive, where we do a sort of K-turn before heading backward down the trench, but this doesn't cut down the turn's magnitude enough to be worth the extra effort and uncertainty -- not to mention that it converts the turn to a counterclockwise one, which is even less desirable.After wrestling with this problem for a while, I realize we've overlooked something. The turning rules are relaxed when we're on outcrop -- and at the end of this ...

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