13 June 2017
After a successful drive, our parking spot included a nice patch of Murray bedrock to allow us to perform contact science (MAHLI and APXS) in today’s plan. Our target for contact science is ‘Jones Marsh,’ a dark patch of the Murray that you can see just above the rightmost corner of Curiosity’s mast shadow in the Navcam image. The GEO group also planned a suite of observations of Vera Rubin Ridge (VRR), which we’re making great progress towards. Mastcam will perform a multispectral observation on ‘Freeman Ridge,’ a small butte just in front of VRR that shows interesting color variations. ChemCam will then take a mosaic of VRR using its Remote Micro-Imager (RMI) to complement the Mastcam mosaic we took in yesterday’s plan. We will take an additional Mastcam mosaic of ‘Spaulding Mountain,’ an area of exposed Murray formation blocks along our drive path.
We will then complete a drive, do some post-drive imaging of our new location, and finish up today’s plan with some environmental observations. These include tau, line-of-sight extinction, and sky survey measurements with Mastcam to assess how much dust is in the atmosphere. We will also perform our standard REMS and DAN activities.
Today I served as a PUL-1 for Mastcam. With VRR on the horizon and the fantastic Murray formation underneath our wheels, there is never a shortage of things to image!
Written by Rachel Kronyak, Planetary Geologist at University of Tennessee