27 September 2016

Sol 1474: Murray cross-bedding

Posted by Ryan

The 16-meter drive on Sol 1473 completed perfectly, placing the rover in position for contact science on an outcrop of cross-bedded Murray bedrock.
The primary goal for Sol 1474 is to characterize the cross-bedding and measure grain sizes using MAHLI, and we were able to squeeze in a lot of other good observations.  Before the arm is deployed, ChemCam will measure the chemical composition of the “Kopong” bedrock target, Mastcam will acquire mosaics of the Kopong outcrop and a couple of blocks behind it, and Navcam will search for clouds.  The arm activities start with a full suite of MAHLI images of Kopong and a MAHLI mosaic of the left side of the outcrop, dubbed “Utuseb.”  Then the DRT will be used to brush off the “Jwaneng” target, with MAHLI images taken before and after the brushing.  The APXS will be placed 0.5 centimeter from the center of the brushed spot for a short evening integration, then moved to the center of the brushed spot for an overnight integration.  Finding good contact science targets that could be safely brushed and imaged was a challenge, but the tactical team did a great job, making it an easy day for me as SOWG Chair.

by Ken Herkenhoff

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.