9 April 2015

Sol 951: 10k

Posted by Ryan Anderson

by Ryan Anderson

Curiosity catches a glimpse of Mt. Sharp from the sol 950 end-of-drive location

We are continuing our driving tour of Artist’s Drive, and we should be reaching the 10k mark on Curiosity’s odometer in the sol 951 plan! The rover will start off the day with a targeted science block full of Mastcam observations. We are planning two Mastcam mosaics looking at the layers in the valley walls on either side of us, plus a routine “clast survey” image to document the soil and gravel at our feet, plus an observation of a portion of Mt. Sharp that is visible in the distance (which we have given the name “Tip Top Mountain”, even though we can’t see the top of the mountain from where we are), and a Mastcam image of the target “Joshua Tree.” It won’t be a purely Mastcam-filled block though: ChemCam has two long-distance Remote Micro-Imager (RMI) observations, also of “Tip Top Mountain” and “Joshua Tree.”

After the science block, the plan is to do a short drive to a location that gives us a nice long-distance view to help with drive planning. After the drive (and passing the 10k mark!), we will have our standard post-drive imaging so that tomorrow we can do targeted science again. There is also a post-drive Navcam movie to search for clouds and measure the wind direction overhead.

-Ryan is a planetary scientist at the USGS Astrogeology Science Center and a member of the ChemCam team on MSL.

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.