Mars Mode Take 2
Yesterday (June 24), we sent K10 to scout an area that did not have network communications coverage. To scout this area, we again made use of "Mars Mode" and asked the field team to run robot plans in the field and then send all the data acquired back to NASA Ames at the end of the day. The goal for June 24 was to go to at least one of the stations (CP1 to CP9) shown on the image in order to acquire a 360 GigaPan panorama, a single terrain image, and lidar scans.
Today, we looked the data acquired by K10 at three stations: CP1, CP2, and CP5. The GigaPan panoramas are amazing! What we scientists lose from not being able to analyze the data in detail over a longer period of time, we gain by getting a "lay of the land" in a way so much more similar to the "walkabout" that a field geologist would do at a site on Earth. I think this is a trade-off I'll be willing to make on the Moon.
R. Aileen Yingst and Terry Fong