5 January 2016

Sol 1215: Driving to a sampling location

Posted by Ryan

Sol 1214 MAHLI wheel image

After wrapping up our holiday investigation on the lee side of Namib Dune, it’s time to move to a new location along the dune to sample the chemistry and mineralogy of the sand.  On Sol 1214 we checked out our wheels (see the MAHLI wheel image above, with Namib Dune and Mt. Sharp in the background), and decided to go for a long drive today.  The plan is drive ~ 92 m to get to a site that will allow easier access for sampling part of the active dune.  The site is located to the northwest of our current position.  After today’s drive we’ll take standard post-drive imaging to prepare for targeting and an additional drive on the following sol.  The plan today also includes a number of atmospheric monitoring activities, including several Navcam movies, a ChemCam passive sky observation, and a Mastcam tau.

For more information about our investigation at the Bagnold Dunes, check out this recent press release.

I should also mention that here in Flagstaff we’re expected to get a lot of snow… so just in case this week’s blogs aren’t posted in a timely manner, you can keep up with Curiosity’s investigation by checking out the recent images here!

By Lauren Edgar

–Lauren is a Research Geologist at the USGS Astrogeology Science Center and a member of MSL science team.

Dates of planned rover activities described in these reports are subject to change due to a variety of factors related to the Martian environment, communication relays and rover status.