#MarsWalk Day 505, 2960.9 km

#MarsWalk Day 505, 2960.9 km

Over 500 days in. Definitely working through the ejecta immediately around Gale Crater.

The first Cycle in the City ride was Sunday: 18 miles, to which I added 3 more by parking at the Inner Harbor, so altogether 33.8 km. That’s roughly 5 days’ travel at my average speed, which means I’ll arrive several days sooner.

96.6%, projected arrival at Curiosity June 13.


MarsWalk spreadsheet

MarsWalk kmz file (for Google Earth — View >> Explore >> Mars)

#MarsWalk Day 498, 2893.8 km

#MarsWalk Day 498, 2893.8 km

This Google Earth Blog post showed up in my RSS reader today, as a result of which I’m making a slight course correction, because I can’t resist visiting the Google data center on Mars, announced a few hours before April 1 of this year. It’ll add negligibly to the distance remaining. But I did add a few km to the total distance I’ve been assuming (it’s now 3065 km according to Google Maps), because I’ve extended the path to go to the Curiosity rover after visiting the MSL at Bradbury Landing. I’m not certain how up to date that Curiosity position is, I’ll have to check on that, but given how slow the rover moves, I’m sure it isn’t far off.

94.4%, projected arrival at Curiosity June 18.


MarsWalk spreadsheet

MarsWalk kmz file (for Google Earth — View >> Explore >> Mars)

#MarsWalk Day 484, 2811.8 km

#MarsWalk Day 484, 2811.8 km

Besides crossing the Equator last week, I crossed the boundaries of a HiRISE photo. As of Friday I was near the southwest corner of that image. Earth weather was fairly miserable last week and I didn’t cover a lot of distance.

92.1%, projected arrival at MSL (Bradbury Landing) June 17.


MarsWalk spreadsheet

MarsWalk kmz file (for Google Earth — View >> Explore >> Mars)

#MarsWalk Day 470, 2724.0 km

#MarsWalk Day 470, 2724.0 km

I finally did it. Laundered my pedometer.It still turns on, except for a few dead LCD segments, but what it doesn’t seem to do any more is count steps, which is a drawback for a pedometer. Remind me not to toss it out without extracting the nearly-new battery.

I have a backup pedometer, the one that I lost in my back yard and then found again a week or so later. It has dead LCD segments too, but does count steps. I’m not sure it counts them accurately. It read quite a lot more steps today than Google Fit on my phone did. For now I’ll assume the lower number is correct.

No bike ride this rainy week.

I’m right in the middle of the lumpy stuff on Mars, which I am assuming is Gale Crater ejecta. Sixty km to my west:

 


MarsWalk spreadsheet

MarsWalk kmz file (for Google Earth — View >> Explore >> Mars)

#MarsWalk Day 463, 2687.6 km

#MarsWalk Day 463, 2687.6 km

The pedometer seems to be behaving lately.

The past week’s 49 km wasn’t spectacular but was better than most recent weeks, thanks in part to Sunday’s good weather during which I went out on my first bike ride of the year. That and some walking the rest of the week put me in more interesting terrain than I’ve seen in a long time, and about 25 km east of this HiRISE image of some oddly lumpy geography.

“Landforms of Southern Elysium Planitia North of Gale Crater”. It’s official, I’m approaching Gale!


MarsWalk spreadsheet

MarsWalk kmz file (for Google Earth — View >> Explore >> Mars)

#MarsWalk Day 456, 2638.6 km

#MarsWalk Day 456, 2638.6 km

I appear to have worn out the battery on my pedometer. Several times the past week or so I’ve gone to check it at the end of the day and found it reading 0 steps, or something nearly as implausible. Tonight I pulled the battery and it had 2.8 V compared to the nominal 3 V or the 3.2 V of the new battery I put in. I hope that fixes it.

I usually have my phone in my pocket when I’m walking, though, and I have Google Fit working, and it usually reports something moderately consistent with the pedometer when the latter’s working, so I’ve gone by that on the whacko pedometer days.

It’s been several weeks since I last checked in but there’s been nothing really notable on my walks nor on the Mars counterparts. I’m past most of the plenitude of Mars InSight candidate landing sites as imaged by HiRISE.It was this bunch of images that led me to think I was heading into interesting terrain before I looked more closely to discover what they were. But now things really are about to get more interesting. You can see in a week I’ll be among… what? They’re the size of hills but they look more like chunks of debris. Then I’ll thread between some even more rugged features before entering (drum roll please) Gale Crater, wherein the end of this #MarsWalk lies. Probably around the beginning of June.

And I should be able to cover distance a little faster starting soon. My bike just came back from its spring tuneup, and while today we had snow flurries, Monday it’s supposed to get into the 70s Fahrenheit.


MarsWalk spreadsheet

MarsWalk kmz file (for Google Earth — View >> Explore >> Mars)

#MarsWalk Day 428, 2518.6 km

#MarsWalk Day 428, 2518.6 km

I spent much of Saturday and Monday flying places, and Sunday and earlier Monday in a meeting, so the weekend wasn’t great for walking, though I did get some steps around the lab in between meeting and flying on Monday. This guy went flying too, a few seconds after this photo:

There was some decent weather during the week for walks on campus. Next several days not looking so favorable though.

On Mars, remember my long spell of nothing to mention? No nearby HiRISE pictures for instance? Well, I’m getting out of that situation.

Though it’s not quite as exciting as it looks, maybe, because it seems nearly all those pictures are labeled something like “Possible Future Landing Site for InSight Mission”. OK, landing on Mars, that’s exciting, but the terrain they pick tends not to be all that dramatic. Here’s the one twenty or so km west of me:

Okay then.

InSight? A NASA/JPL spacecraft, originally intended to be launched last year for a September 2016 landing. But there were problems with a vacuum leak in its seismometer experiment, so the mission was postponed to 2018. Apparently the site they ended up selecting was one about 50 km further west. Should I take a detour and visit it? Hm, naah. If it had actually landed last Fall, yeah, I would’ve, but not while it’s only a potential landing site.


MarsWalk spreadsheet

MarsWalk kmz file (for Google Earth — View >> Explore >> Mars)

#MarsWalk Day 421, 2484.5 km

Week got off to a pretty good start with a 10 km hike on Sunday and some good walks Monday and Tuesday. And then it kind of fell apart. Not bad overall though.

Is a HiRISE picture 50 km to my east worth noting? Heckyeah. It’s the closest I’ve been to anything at all in a long time. “Westernmost End of Athabasca Valles Lava” they’re calling it, and yes, that does look like a lava flow from the northeast. I like this feature in the middle with the squiggly stuff all around it:esp_017865_1850


MarsWalk spreadsheet

MarsWalk kmz file (for Google Earth — View >> Explore >> Mars)