26 July 2015
The main priority in today’s plan is to nudge the rover a bit closer to the target “Buckskin”, which is in the area where we have discovered rocks high in silica and hydrogen. But before we do that, ChemCam and Mastcam will observe the targets “Marent”, “Pilcher”, and “Twinkle”, all of which may also have high silica. Navcam will also search for dust devils and do some atmospheric monitoring. On sol 1056, the rover will execute a short ~70 cm drive, followed by standard post-drive imaging to prepare for contact science on some of these interesting rocks next week.
While the Curiosity team was putting together this weekend plan, we were also keeping an eye on the amazing images of Pluto coming down from New Horizons! The solar system is a weird and wonderful place!
-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.