Trek to Solander Point

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PostPosted: May 15, 2013 1:43 PM 

Sol 3308 ( May 15, 2013 ):

AAnndd it's gone.

Oppy moved from position BY08 to BYAE - about 25 meters towards the SSW.

The trek to Solander Point has begun.


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Reply: 1

PostPosted: May 15, 2013 1:49 PM 

The last volume of the Exploration of Cape York topic is here.


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Reply: 2

PostPosted: May 16, 2013 9:26 AM 

Sol 3309 ( May 16, 2013) after move:

The position changed from BYAE to BYJL - about 75 meters of movement.

A 360 degree Navcam panorama and a 4x1 L2R2 Pancam panorama in the next drive direction were also taken.


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Reply: 3

PostPosted: May 16, 2013 5:27 PM 

Sol 3309 ( May 16, 2013 ) 3D of possible meteorite on Cape York:

with location link.

Hope a "drive by shooting" of this rock is done.


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Reply: 4

PostPosted: May 17, 2013 8:01 AM 

Sol 3310 ( May 17, 2013 ):

The position changed from BYJL to BYVX for another 75-80 meters drive.

A "clast survey" was done before the drive and two targets, "Corunna Downs" and "Karratha" were photographed mid-drive.

Third consecutive drive day for 200+ meters! The skies must be clearer now.


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Reply: 5

PostPosted: May 17, 2013 9:24 PM 

I wonder what will be the consensus on Oppy's findings at Cape York and what will be the discoveries that will stand out? I would vote for the newberries.



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Reply: 6

PostPosted: May 18, 2013 8:33 AM 

Sol 3308 ( May 15, 2013 ) panorama in the next drive direction:

It is kind'a surprising that the next drive direction ( NDD ) panorama was dowlinked after two more drives were already in the bag - but the latest NDD has not yet been down-linked. It is now the night of sol 3311 and only the thumbnails from 3310 are available to plan the next drive.

Winston, Steve's take on Esperance is here.

Bottom line:

The fractured rock, called "Esperance," provides evidence about a wet ancient environment possibly favorable for life.

So - there could have been life here. Why not actually LOOK for evidence of life in this environment?

For example, section a newberry embedded in the clay looking for internal structure?

Oh, wait a minute. That's what was done.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the planet, Curiosity is preparing to examine the chemistry in detail of a large collection of Gale berries. NOT the clay matrix - but the stuff in the matrix.

I remain hopeful.

And Here is Stuart Atkinson's take on Oppy on the road again. ( I always enjoy Stu's writing. ) .


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Reply: 7

PostPosted: May 19, 2013 9:39 AM 

Sol 3312 ( May 19, 2013 ) 3D in next drive direction on Cape York:

The position advanced from BYVX to BY## ( overflow ) which means the drive was at least 75 meters. Oppy did a 1 hour blind drive followed by a 3 1/2 hour auto-navigation drive, so this may be the longest drive done on Cape York! My guess is around 130 meters.

Parallax measurements to large rocks on the southern edge of Cape York are 110-130 meters.

A couple more drives and Oppy will be off the cape.


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Reply: 8

PostPosted: May 19, 2013 11:30 PM 

I have the utmost respect for Stu but I can't agree with his haste to get to Mount Sharp. I think Curiosity has the best hope of detecting signs of past life right where it is now, in the deepest part of the crater. Yes, Mount Sharp may be wonderful for reading the later geological history of Mars, but there should be plenty of time to get there after some epochal discoveries in its present vicinity.


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Reply: 9

PostPosted: May 20, 2013 8:10 AM 

Sol 3312 ( May 19, 2013 ) guestimated map location:

with links to next drive direction panoramas.

Haven't done one of these for a while.


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Reply: 10

PostPosted: May 20, 2013 3:17 PM 

Sol 3312 ( May 19, 2013 ) 3D of peculiar rock in the next drive direction on Cape York:

Hope this odd duck is captured in passing on the next drive.


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Reply: 11

PostPosted: May 20, 2013 8:10 PM 

Hort; Re. reply #10; Remember this one from Curi - Sol 51



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Reply: 12

PostPosted: May 21, 2013 8:08 AM 

Sol 3314 (May 21, 2013 ) after a guestimated 50 meter drive southwards:

Looks like Oppy is near the "landslide" area in reply 9.

The next drive could take Oppy off Cape York and into Botany Bay.

According to The Planetary Society Oppy Update, the plan is to pause there and do a little science before heading across the bay.


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Reply: 13

PostPosted: May 22, 2013 9:03 AM 

Sol 3315 ( May 22, 2013 ) after 45 meter drive:

End of the Cape. Now, fast or scenic route to Solander Point? My bet is a visit to Knobby's head - just in case the old gal doesn't make it all the way.


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Reply: 14

PostPosted: May 22, 2013 12:54 PM 

Sol 3315 ( May 22, 2013 ) panorama in the next drive direction towards Knobby's Head:

Knobby it is.

Kye Goodwin

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Reply: 15

PostPosted: May 22, 2013 10:59 PM 

Horton, thanks for all your latest. I can't say that often enough. Its great to be on the move again, isn't it! I'm looking forward to Botany Bay itself as much as the other capes. Last time there, just before Oppy came ashore, we got to see some novel Meridiani bedrock with big spherules:

Also, the surface of the Bay appears rougher than any bedrock surface Oppy has roved. Maybe we will find out how erosion works on Mars. I'm guessing that the slope of the bay, though gentle, somehow facilitates erosion.

LWS, re your question in reply 5, I agree that the newberries might turn out to be the most important new data from Cape York. I think that a paradigm shift will be required to make any of the information Oppy gathered at Cape York into a proper discovery, and the newberries may help the most to push that shift. There really shouldn't be two kinds of finely layered, spherule bearing rock at Meridiani, Whitewater Lake and the Burns Formation, unless they share a genesis.


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Reply: 16

PostPosted: May 23, 2013 8:19 AM 

Sol 3316 (May 23, 2013 ) 3D in next drive direction in Botany Bay towards Knobby's Head:


The position index changed from BZCV to BZVP for a guestimated drive of 135-150 meters in a 2 hour drive! I really don't believe these numbers - but Knobby is visibly closer.

I will look for a detailed map of Botany Bay to map the drives - but at this rate we will be there before I have a enough image data to calculate the rover position - or before the official MER site even acknowledges that Oppy has left the building.

Thanks for the thanks Kye. I know that only a handful of people are following my Flickr images now ( 10-20 from the Flikr STATs ), so it is nice when someone comments on the pictures.

BTW I am much annoyed at Flickr's new look. The photostream takes MUCH longer to load now, has less information. It looks way too "Metro" - which I also dislike. Does everything have to look like a phone now?

Has Idiocracy finally arrived? Maybe I'm just getting too damn old.

The rocks in Botany Bay look a LOT like the Meridiani rocks. Perhaps an indication that the water of Meridiani Sea drained into Endeavour before disappearing forever?

Er, how close to the surface of an outcrop can concretions form?

How much Martian wind erosion can occur in a few billion years? Was there time enough for erosion to grind down the overburden and expose the concretions?

If NOT concretions, then what are the blueberries and how did they form?

Nine years later and I still don't have a clue to the answers for these questions.

Maybe it's all so obvious to the rock guys that they will not stoop so low as to answer such questions?


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Reply: 17

PostPosted: May 23, 2013 8:39 AM 

Horton, I don't post much but always appreciate your pics. I started following this site from MSL sol 1 and it's been surprises after surprises.

One big mystery to me is the age of these rocks. Folks seem to agree that these are billions years old... but by looking at these picture, stuff looks much younger than that. Heck, some riverbed looks just dried up!


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Reply: 18

PostPosted: May 23, 2013 11:17 AM

Was this once a sea of mud with ice floes? Now it looks like a sea of sand with rock slabs.

Note the "nipple" on the horizon. Is that the "head" of Nobby's head?

I agree with the criticism of Flickr's new look. Now it crashes my older browsers, which I still like to use for their simplicity, and takes longer to load with newer ones. Change for the sake of change.


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Reply: 19

PostPosted: May 23, 2013 11:20 AM 


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Reply: 20

PostPosted: May 24, 2013 11:29 AM 

Sol 3316 (May 23, 2013 ) 3D in next drive direction in Botany Bay :

Today's drive was from BZJV to BZW8 for a guestimated drive of 100 meters.

Yesterdays drive ( sol 3316 ) was from BZCU to BZJV for distance of about 55 meters - NOT to BZVP as stated in reply 16 ( I misread the position index in the file name. )

It looks like almost all the drives since leaving the Esperance area have been dead reckoning plus a single stereo pair to verify the end position.

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