19 November 2016

Sols 1525-1527: Contact science at Sutton Island and approaching the next drill site

Posted by Ryan Anderson

Sol 1523 MAHLI of Seawall

The MAHLI images from Sol 1523 are down, and we acquired some beautiful images of this new outcrop, as seen in the above image of the target “Seawall.”  Today’s plan is focused on finishing the investigation at “Sutton Island,” and then driving towards the next drill target, ~9 m away.

The plan starts with a couple of Navcam and Mastcam observations to monitor the opacity of the atmosphere and search for clouds.  Then we’ll acquire ChemCam observations of “Ironbound Island” and “Goat Trail” to assess the composition of the bedrock. The plan also includes several Mastcam mosaics to characterize the geometry of this deposit and document its sedimentary structures.  In the afternoon Curiosity will acquire MAHLI images of “Ironbound Island” to characterize the more typical Murray bedrock in this area, followed by an overnight APXS integration on the same target. On the second sol Curiosity will drive toward the next drill target as we continue our systematic campaign of sampling the Murray formation. After the drive we’ll take post-drive imaging, including workspace imaging to prepare for upcoming contact science and characterizing the intended drill site.  We’ll also take a ChemCam AEGIS observation on the second sol.  In addition to all of these activities, the rover will perform a SAM atmospheric observation to look for methane.  Quite the weekend for Curiosity!

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.