Tactical uplink shifts My favorite childhood memory is my back not hurting shirt are typically 3 or 4 times a week – and each shift is one set of commands that covers 1, 2, or 3 Mars days of activities. You start with a rough sketch of what we want to do – where the communications passes are happening. Then the science team pad out the science block time with detail, the rover planners ( arm and driving command writers ) figure out how long they need to do what the science team want etc etc. That ends up as a glorified Gantt chart which we then all scurry off and write commands to do our own little piece of. They get tested on their own and their merged into one big software sim of the activities. If that sim shows the rover is still right side up at the end……we send it to the rover 🙂
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Generally we don’t command the My favorite childhood memory is my back not hurting shirt to go somewhere we can’t see in our terrain models. That said we also have orbital data at ~30cm/px which gives us a reasonable idea of what lies ahead. We CAN command into the ‘blind’ areas and the rover can look for hazards and map a safe route if we’re really trying to maximize drive distance. We can also set tilt limits, suspension travel limits based on the worst we expect the rover to see and it’ll abort a drive if it sees higher than that.