21 September 2016

Sols 1467-1468: Finishing up at Quela

Posted by Ryan Anderson

The activities planned for Sol 1466 are going well so far–the only problem is that the ChemCam observation of the Quela drill hole wall is slightly out of focus.

So we’ll try again on Sol 1467 with slightly modified ChemCam command parameters.  We’re planning two sols today, and our top priority is to finish up our investigation of the Quela drill hole and tailings before driving away.  There are a lot of measurements we’d like to make here, so it was a rather busy day for me as SOWG Chair.  After retracting and stowing the arm to allow remote sensing observations of the Quela area, the Right Mastcam will image the imprint of the APXS contact sensor in the drill tailings, to determine exactly where the APXS was placed.  Mastcam will also image the unsieved sample dump pile through all filters and measure the amount of dust in the atmosphere (a “Mastcam tau“) by imaging the Sun. Then ChemCam will go to work, acquiring passive spectra of the dump pile and active LIBS observations of the drill hole/tailings, a vein target named “Sumbe,” and Goantagab again to look for changes.  The Right Mastcam will then acquire a 5×8 mosaic of the right side of the butte in front of the rover and take pictures of the ChemCam targets.  Another Mastcam tau is scheduled late in the afternoon, followed by CheMin and SAM engineering activities.  Mastcam will measure dust in the atmosphere again on the morning of Sol 1468, and Navcam will search for clouds overhead.  A ~90-meter drive is planned during the middle of the day, followed by the usual post-drive imaging to set us up for the next plan.

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.