22 June 2016

Sols 1380-1381: Contact Science at “Koes”

Posted by Ryan Anderson

Sol 1378 Navcam

The drive on Sol 1378 went well, and Curiosity drove ~44 m to the south, bringing our total drive distance to more than 13.2 km.  We’re currently making our way through a gap in the Bagnold dunes (part of a dune is visible in the upper left of the drive direction Navcam frame, above).

Today’s two-sol plan includes targeted remote sensing, and contact science at a target named “Koes.”  We’ve been searching for a good place to do contact science on the Murray formation around here, and there won’t be enough power or time to fit contact science in the weekend plan, so it’s great to pick it up here.  The plan starts with ChemCam and Mastcam observations of “Koes” and “Onawa” to characterize the Murray formation.  Then we’ll use the DRT to brush off a fresh surface at “Koes,” followed by MAHLI imaging.  We’ll also use MAHLI to image the rover wheels, as part of our ongoing monitoring.  Then we’ll place APXS for an overnight integration on “Koes.”  We’ll also carry out a SAM preconditioning activity, which heats up a sample cup in preparation for solid sample analysis.  Curiosity will wake up early the next morning to acquire a Mastcam mosaic of “Baynes Mountain” to document the contact between the Murray and Stimson formations.  On Sol 1381, we’ll acquire another ChemCam observation of the Murray formation at “Khoabendus,” and we’ll use Mastcam to characterize veins at the target “Helgas.”  Then Navcam will be used to monitor the atmosphere and search for dust devils.

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.