12 June 2017
After great anticipation over the last few weeks, the drive in the current plan will bring us into position for stop 1 of our close look at the northern face of the hematite-bearing Vera Rubin Ridge. Mastcam will take a wide mosaic to begin documenting the sedimentary structure of the ridge. GEO will take several observations of nearby targets before the drive. ChemCam will target ‘Mount Abraham’ (bedrock on the top left in the above Navcam image) and ‘Mount Redington’ (bedrock at top center), both of which are typical members of the Murray bedrock. Mastcam will image each of those targets as well, along with the target ‘Marsh Head,’ an area of exposed stratigraphy. GEO activities finish with Navcam documentation of our new position and MARDI imaging.
I was the ENV STL for this plan, and only one ENV cadence observation will be obtained. A 4-frame Navcam dust devil survey will be taken around noon to continue to document vortex activity as we climb Mt. Sharp. REMS will capture the usual top of the hour 5 minute observations, along with 9 hours of extended observations. DAN will take a 20 minute post-drive observation and just under 5 hours of passive observations.
Written by Michael Battalio, Atmospheric Scientist at Texas A&M University