Curiosity update: So many choices, so little time

2434ML0129040010902489E01_DXXX-br2Sol 2436, June 14, 2019, update by MSL scientist Michelle Minitti: The planning day started with a change of plans. Due to a late-breaking change in relay pass scheduling, the decisional pass (the communication pass carrying the latest information about Curiosity’s location and state to arrive before the start of planning on Earth the next day) in today’s plan was much earlier in the plan than we expected.

That meant that Curiosity had to wrap up her activities earlier in the sol than we initially thought. The science team had to rapidly decide how to use the limited time available for rover activities. We could choose to stay at our current position, parked along the side of a pebble-covered clay-bearing unit ridge (pictured above), for activities today and over the weekend. Or we could choose to drive off to another location for the weekend. There were many drive targets to choose from, from interesting rocks at the top of the ridge (also visible in the image above) to bedrock exposures along the base of the ridge. The science team spent a lot of time weighing the pros and cons of each target in the wider context of our study of the ridge and the clay-bearing unit. We eventually decided to drive to a small outcrop patch about 30 m away…. [More at link]

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