9 August 2015

Sols 1068-1070: Back at Missoula

Posted by Ryan Anderson

Curiosity had a successful drive of 19 meters on Sol 1067, and we are currently back at Missoula for more targeted science.  The goal is to perform a detailed study of the Stimson-Pahrump contact, and to determine the relative timing of some of the veins that we’ve observed here.

The three-sol plan is a busy one, with a lot of ChemCam analyses.  On Sol 1068 Curiosity will acquire ChemCam LIBS on four different “Missoula” targets (Missoula A, B, C, and D), to understand the chemistry across the contact.  We’ll also acquire several Mastcam images to document those targets.  On Sol 1070, we’ll acquire a ChemCam passive observation on the target “Coombs” (“passive” means that we don’t fire the laser, we just passively collect the spectrum of the target), and a regular ChemCam LIBS observation on the target “Stenerson.”  Throughout the weekend plan, Curiosity will also perform a number of environmental monitoring activities, to assess the opacity of the atmosphere and search for dust devils.  After thoroughly investigating this outcrop with ChemCam, we’ll finally resume our drive through Marias Pass on Sol 1070, and take some post-drive imaging to prepare for science next week.

By Lauren Edgar

–Lauren is a Research Geologist at the USGS Astrogeology Science Center and a member of 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.