by Mark LemmonMarch 14, 2008 -
Today was an interesting day in the
delays, but telemetry from
So, on Sol 0 on simulated Mars, About two hours earlier,
the Characterization Phase will last around a week, and will be geared toward understanding the spacecraft’s behavior in the Martian environment. Does everything work? How well? How much power are we getting and how are the batteries doing?
About two hours earlier,
“postcard” panorama looking north.
So, we set upon the task of planning Sol 1 activities. We still do not know much. We haven’t seen much of what’s around us (polygons? rocks?). We have almost no information on the weather (moderately dusty conditions, based on the first horizon images), or on spacecraft temperatures in the cold environment. The Robotic Arm Camera will take a picture to verify it is still working. The lidar checkout includes the first lidar measurements ever from the surface of another planet, and SSI will monitor the lidar check-out. Sometime during the postcard, the lander reached the time when it needed to sleep to conserve energy. SSI was shutdown, then the lander. Later,
Sometime during the postcard, the lander reached the time when it needed to sleep to conserve energy. SSI was shutdown, then the lander. Later,
Note: You will probably notice a bias toward imaging in my posts -- I am acting as science lead for this dry run, but am more generally the lead investigator for the SSI. Essentially, we’re following the plan very closely so far. We are very constrained by data availability -- we have to use a low bandwidth transmission until we characterize the
antenna performance. We are constrained in time of day we can use -- it is especially cold in the mornings and we need to gather data on what temperatures the lander experiences. As we characterize these things, the scope of what we can accomplish will grow, and we can move to more complex things to characterize. Ultimately, we will demonstrate that the lander can safely acquire a sample from the surface and deliver it to TEGA (Thermal Evolved Gas Analyzer). But it will be a slow path to safely do that. But when we have reached the end of that path, we will be ready to proceed on an exciting exploration down to Martian water ice and an analysis of what secrets the ice and soil hide.
Essentially, we’re following the plan very closely so far. We are very constrained by data availability -- we have to use a low bandwidth transmission until we characterize the