21 November 2015

Sols 1170-1172: Studying bedrock, sand, and sky

Posted by Ryan Anderson

Sol 1168 Mastcam

This week Curiosity has been driving towards the Bagnold Dunes and characterizing the bedrock and sand along the way.  After a successful SAM methane experiment and 36.5 m drive on Sol 1168, Curiosity spent Sol 1169 recharging and assessing some of the local bedrock and dunes.

The weekend 3-sol plan starts with a number of environmental monitoring activities to assess atmospheric opacity and composition.  The second sol includes several ChemCam and Mastcam activities to study the local bedrock and prepare for the upcoming dune investigation.  We’ll also use Navcam to search for dust devils and monitor clouds and wind, and to monitor the deck of the rover to look for dust and sand accumulation.  On the third sol we’ll drive and take our standard post-drive imaging.  The plan also includes SAM and CheMin activities for prepare for future sampling.   I’ll be on duty next week, so I’ve been monitoring the weekend activities and getting ready for some exciting observations 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.