Spirit Sol 1116

Today we're continuing to follow our months-old tracks back toward Home Plate. Our plan had originally been to skirt this little ridge about halfway along today's drive path. But then I went hunting for any old images we had of the ridge, to see what it looks like on the far side, just in case the far side hid a gimpy-rover trap.

It turns out we have a fantastic, close-up image of it -- as we were running for McCool, shortly before the RF wheel failed, we stopped right in front of it at the end of one drive. So we're able to look closely, decide that the slopes and pebbles are all benign, and commit to going over it rather than around.

That still leaves us with another decision: are we going to go north, along Home Plate, to image its east face? Or will we go west, toward the on-ramp? Or, maybe, will we compromise, heading west past the debris field and then heading north? We won't be doing that north-or-west drive today, but we need to set ourselves up so we can do it tomorrow. Since it's still a matter of some debate among the science team, however, we compromise, aiming instead for a point where we'll be able to choose either path on the next sol.

I used to not like compromise. But when it gives other people badly needed time to make up their minds, and when it makes your own life simpler in the process, well, there's something you can say for it.

[Next post: sol 1121 (Opportunity sol 1101), February 27.]


Anonymous said...

Just so you know there's people out there who have been following this for a long time, and have never made their presence known, I, as one of the aforementioned people, am hereby making my presence known (anonymously, ah well), and further requesting that please, oh do, keep this astoundingly good work up. This stuff is priceless.

Scott Maxwell said...

Thank you so much for the very nice comment! Sadly, this blog doesn't go very much longer -- I have only about a couple of months' worth of notes left.

Maybe I'll be able to do the same for MSL -- you know, in about 5 years. :-/