10 November 2015
The 68-meter drive planned for Sol 1158 completed as planned, placing the rover near a dark, circular feature named “Brandberg.” The tactical operations team studied the images of Brandberg and discussed the value of contact science observations in this area, ultimately deciding to drive on toward the Bagnold Dunes. But before leaving, ChemCam and Mastcam will observe targets “Hoba” and “Gibeon” on the Brandberg feature, which appears to be a remnant of a deposit that has been mostly eroded away. Observations of targets “Bogenfels” and “Roter Kamm” are also planned, to better understand the rocks upon which the Brandberg material was deposited, as well as another test of the AEGIS software. Mastcam will also acquire mosaics of other interesting features before the Sol 1160 drive, including a sandy ripple named “Elim.” The Sol 1161 plan is relatively simple, with the usual DAN, REMS, and RAD background observations along with a ChemCam measurement of the atmosphere over the rover.
by Ken Herkenhoff
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.