2 November 2016

Sols 1509-1510: No contact science

Posted by Ryan Anderson

Curiosity drove another 44 meters on Sol 1508, ending up in an area that again is partly covered by dark sand.  There aren’t any very compelling targets within the arm workspace, so we decided again to forgo contact science, and focused instead on remote observations.  Planning is restricted, so we are planning 2 sols today.  On Sol 1509, Navcam will search for dust devils and ChemCam will acquire passive spectra of “Ellsworth,” another target in the area about 500 meters away where orbital data indicate the presence of clay minerals.  ChemCam and the Right Mastcam will also observe a nearby sand target named “Sand Beach,” a vein target called “The Triad,” and a typical bedrock target dubbed “Rum Island.”  The Right Mastcam will then acquire a 5×1 mosaic of Ellsworth and “McFarland Hill” and a 3×1 mosaic of nodule-rich bedrock at “Connors Nubble.”  A 4×1 Left Mastcam mosaic is also planned, to survey nearby sedimentary structures and nodules.  The rover will drive again later that afternoon, and images will be acquired to set us up for contact science (including brushing) this weekend.  ChemCam will then observe a target selected using AEGIS, and CheMin will perform another analysis overnight.  On Sol 1510, ChemCam will perform multiple calibration activities.  We’re hoping that we’ll be in a good position for contact science after the Sol 1509 drive!

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.