11 August 2017
Lately, one of our biggest science objectives is to conduct bedrock APXS measurements with every 5-meter climb in elevation. This allows us to systematically analyze geochemical changes in the Murray formation as we continue to climb Mount Sharp. Yesterday’s drive brought us 6 meters higher in elevation, so another touch and go for today it is! We’ll analyze the Murray target ‘Thorne’ with APXS and MAHLI, followed by a short ChemCam observation on the same target. We’ll also take several additional Mastcam images of ‘Devilled Rocks’ and ‘Butter ‘ which will document blocks on the slopes of the Vera Rubin Ridge (VRR).
Following our ‘touch’ activities, we’ll then ‘go’ and complete a drive. To set ourselves up for a nice weekend plan, we’ll take some post-drive images. Standard REMS and DAN blocks are also included in today’s plan. We should be arriving at our next VRR imaging stop after today’s drive, so stay tuned for exciting Mastcam mosaics that we’ll be acquiring over the weekend!
Written by Rachel Kronyak, Planetary Geologist at University of Tennessee