19 April 2016

Sol 1317: Preparing to Drill

Posted by Ryan Anderson

Sol 1316 Navcam Lubango

On Sol 1316, Curiosity drove ~15 m back toward the “Lubango” target, which we first observed on Sol 1310.  “Lubango” is a high silica target that sits along a fracture in the Stimson formation.  The team decided to drill near this fracture to better understand both the altered and unaltered Stimson bedrock.  “Lubango” is the flat block on the right side of the above Navcam image.  The fracture is still slightly out of reach, so today’s plan involves a short bump to set us up for drilling activities.

The plan starts with six ChemCam activities aimed at identifying high silica targets.  We’ll also acquire a large Mastcam mosaic of the area to document the targets and potential drill sites.  Then we’ll bump forward and take post-drive imaging for targeting.  If all goes smoothly, we should be ready to DRT and start contact science tomorrow!

By Lauren Edgar

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.