7 July 2017
Another touch-and-go was strategically planned for Curiosity today, and there is bedrock in the arm workspace, so the tactical science team selected a block named ‘Tupper Ledge’ for contact science. After APXS measures the elemental chemistry of Tupper Ledge and MAHLI takes a full suite of images of the same target, the arm will be stowed to allow ChemCam and Right Mastcam observations of a soil target called ‘No Mans Land’ and a bedrock target dubbed ‘Sugar Loaves.’ Navcam will search for clouds above the horizon and the Right Mastcam will snap a couple pictures of ‘Harris,’ a trough in the dark sand.
Today’s drive goal is to place the crest of a sand ripple in the arm workspace, to allow contact science on the ripple this weekend. A wheel scuff of the ripple was added by the Rover Planners, which should allow the interior of the ripple to be observed. After the drive and standard post-drive imaging, Navcam will search for clouds overhead and DAN will make another active measurement of hydrogen in the near-subsurface. Once again, the tactical team did a great job, so it was an easy day for me as SOWG Chair.
Written by Ken Herkenhoff, Planetary Geologist at USGS Astrogeology Science Center