15 December 2015
Over the weekend Curiosity drove 42 m closer to “Namib Dune, and the view is pretty spectacular. We’ve received a lot of beautiful Mastcam and Navcam images, which can be found here.
In today’s 2-sol plan, we’ll continue driving around the “Namib Dune” to get to the lee side. It was a pretty straightforward day for me as GSTL, and Ken as the MAHLI/MARDI PUL. On the first sol Curiosity will acquire ChemCam and Mastcam observations of targets named “Karfenkliff” and “Grillental” to characterize some of the local bedrock and veins. We’ll also take a Mastcam stereo mosaic of “Namib Dune” to better understand the morphology of the ripples and grain flows. The plan also includes a Mastcam image of the rover deck to monitor the movement of particles. Then we’ll drive for ~47 m and take post-drive imaging to document the local geology and prepare for targeting in Wednesday’s plan. On the second sol we’ll perform a number of ChemCam calibration activities and take a Mastcam tau to monitor atmospheric opacity.
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.