18 January 2016
Our campaign to analyze the Bagnold dunes continues! In the Sol 1228 plan we have a bunch of arm activity, starting with a rover “selfie” in front of the sand dune, followed by scooping up and sieving a sample of sand. Mastcam and MAHLI will both thoroughly document the scooping process. Mastcam also has a change detection observation of the target “Hebron”.
On Sol 1229, Mastcam will repeat that change detection observation two more times. Mastcam also has observations of the dump piles from the scoop target “Gobabeb”, plus a Mastcam and Navcam photometry experiment. ChemCam will take passive spectra of the Gobabeb dump piles, followed by active analysis of dump pile A. That will be followed by atmospheric observations by Mastcam and Navcam.
In the afternoon on Sol 1229, ChemCam will analyze dump pile B, and Mastcam will take another change detection image of Hebron. The Mastcam and Navcam photometry experiment will also collect a few more images on sol 1229.
-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.