30 August 2017
Curiosity’s drive on Sol 1801 brought us to an excellent location for some contact and remote science in today’s 3-sol plan (setting up for a long Labor Day weekend). We’ll kick off Sol 1802 with contact science (MAHLI + APXS) on the target called ‘Tyler,’ a region of Murray bedrock just in front of the rover.
We’ll then enter into a very full, science-packed remote science block, during which we’ll make a ChemCam LIBS observation on Tyler and take a number of Mastcam mosaics. These mosaics will look at sedimentary structures and layering within the beautifully exposed rocks of the Vera Rubin Ridge in front of us. The mosaics are fairly extensive and will document the targets named ‘Pettegrove Point,’ ‘Rumills Hub,’ ‘Mink Rocks,’ ‘The Downfall,’ and ‘Popplestone Ledge.’ The Navcam image above shows our Pettegrove Point target. As a Mastcam PUL-1 today, I was busy working with the Mastcam team and GEO group to put together our long list of imaging observations. Most of the Mastcam observations in the plan are actually stereo mosaics, which means we take each image with both the left and right eyes of Mastcam. Stereo mosaics are pretty resource intensive, but they provide us with three-dimensional depth information, which is especially useful for making geologic interpretations.
After our heavy science block, we’ll perform a drive and collect our standard post-drive images to set up for contact and remote science over the weekend. We’ll also do a post-drive DAN active along with our standard DAN passive and REMS observations.
Written by Rachel Kronyak, Planetary Geologist at University of Tennessee