2 November 2015

Sol 1153-1154: Driving Around

Posted by Ryan Anderson

The short drive over the weekend went well, putting us in a good position for a longer drive in today’s plan. Before we drive, ChemCam will analyze the targets “Tampico”, “LaValle”, and “Muddy” to determine if their apparent variations in brightness in the Navcam images correspond to a variation in chemistry. Mastcam will take documentation images of the ChemCam targets, plus a 13×3 mosaic of the resistant outcrop “East Glacier” and its surroundings.

After the drive, which will take us past and around “East Glacier” and the dark material behind it, we will do our standard post-drive imaging. This week is a bit tricky because Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) is in (intentional) Safe Mode for most of the week, meaning Curiosity can’t send as much data back to Earth. So, it’s possible that the post-drive imaging that we usually use to target ChemCam won’t come down in time to choose targets on Wednesday. If that happens, we’ll have to make do with the Hazcam images.

On Sol 1154, we are planning a ChemCam passive sky observation, plus Navcam movies to watch for clouds and dust devils. Mastcam will do a routine “clast survey” observation, plus a 27×2 mosaic to document the geology from our new location, and a MAHLI image of the ground underneath the rover.

By Ryan Anderson

-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.