22 February 2017
By Lauren Edgar
The drive on Sol 1617 went well, and Curiosity drove 20 m to the south, which put us in a good position for another stop at the Bagnold Dunes. This site was selected to enable comparison of the leading and trailing edges of the dunes. Today’s plan includes ChemCam observations of disturbed and undisturbed soil, at targets named “Tomhegan” and “Macworth.” We’ll also acquire a Mastcam multispectral observation on “Macworth,” along with systematic deck monitoring. A number of environmental monitoring activities are planned in the first science block, including two dust devil surveys, a Mastcam tau, and a crater rim extinction observation to monitor atmospheric opacity. In the afternoon we have three MAHLI targets planned: “Waweig” (undisturbed ripple crest), “Tomhegan” (undisturbed ripple flank) and “Seboomook” (disturbed sand). APXS will also acquire data on “Tomhegan,” with an overnight integration on “Waweig.” Throughout the plan, Mastcam will also perform several change detection experiments at two different locations to monitor sand movement. Looks like quite the day for investigating the Bagnold Dunes!
–Lauren is a Research Geologist at the USGS Astrogeology Science Center and a member of the 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.