13 March 2016

Sols 1279-1281: Climbing up onto Naukluft Plateau

Posted by Ryan Anderson

It’s time to wrap up our investigation of the interesting nodules at the contact between the Murray and Stimson formations and resume driving!

The weekend starts off focused mostly on contact science. On Sol 1279, APXS will analyze two neighboring locations on a group of nodules collectively called “Khomas,” and then on Sol 1280 APXS will analyze a third location on Khomas. MAHLI will collect supporting images, and will also take some pictures of the targets “Etendeka” and “Maieberg.”

In the morning on Sol 1280, the rover will make some atmospheric measurements using Navcam, Mastcam, and ChemCam, followed by a 20-spot ChemCam analysis of the target “Marienfluss,” right across the Murray-Stimson contact. Mastcam will take a support image of Marienfluss, plus a small mosaic of a target called “Kerpfenkliff.”

Then on Sol 1281, we will get moving again with a ~70 meter drive that should take us up onto the Naukluft plateau. During the drive, MARDI will collect some images of the terrain underneath the rover. After the drive we have post-drive imaging, and I added a request for some Navcam images of Mt. Sharp to help target potential long distance ChemCam RMI images next week.

by Ryan Anderson

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.