23 October 2015

Sols 1143-1145: Last observations at Greenhorn and driving away

Posted by Ryan Anderson

Sol 1142 MAHLI dump pile

After a successful investigation focused on alteration zones around fractures, it’s time to move on.  We’re still chewing on data from the “Greenhorn” and “Big Sky” drill samples, but we can wrap up a few last observations in this area and drive away in today’s 3-sol plan.

On the first sol, we’ll acquire MAHLI images on the pre-sieve dump pile and the nearby target “Vandalia,” with overnight APXS on the dump pile.  On the second sol, we’ll take a few last Mastcam observations as part of a change detection experiment, and then drive a short distance away.  As we turn and drive away, we’ll acquire a DAN active observation over the “Greenhorn” drill hole.  The goal of the drive is to get to a good overlook to assess the stratigraphy of the “Meeteetse” area.  After the drive we’ll acquire some post-drive imaging to be used for context and future targeting.  After several weeks at “Big Sky” and “Greenhorn”, it feels good to be getting back on the road (and by ‘road’ I mean completely uncharted territory on another planet!).

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.