17 March 2016

Sol 1284: Driving Across the Plateau

Posted by Ryan Anderson

MSL drove almost 40 meters over the rough terrain on the Naukluft plateau, as planned, and again there are many interesting features near the rover.  Many of the rocks appear to have been abraded by windblown sand, resulting in some bizarre shapes in places.  The chemical and morphological diversity of these nearby rocks will be sampled before the rover drives toward the west on Sol 1284:  ChemCam and Mastcam will observe outcrop targets named “Rooirand,” “Grootberg,” and “Gratzplatz.”  The Left Mastcam will also acquire mosaics of the outcrop around Rooirand and sedimentary structures to the south of the rover.  After the drive, the usual post-drive imaging is planned, including a MARDI twilight image (my only responsibility today).

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.