6 November 2017
It was a good weekend on Mars. Curiosity spent the weekend exploring a beautiful outcrop of sedimentary rocks (shown in the above image) as part of our continued investigation of the middle and upper parts of Vera Rubin Ridge. Images like these will help us figure out the environment in which these rocks were deposited.
Today’s two-sol plan is focused on additional imaging of a different part of this outcrop to better constrain the sedimentary structures and the transport directions that they record. We planned a large Mastcam stereo mosaic of the outcrop seen in this Navcam image, as well as a ChemCam RMI mosaic to get even higher resolution imaging of a small portion of the section. The plan also includes MAHLI and APXS observations of the target ‘Volksrust’ to characterize typical bedrock in this location, as well as a number of environmental monitoring observations to investigate the spectral characteristics and dust content of the atmosphere. On the second sol, Curiosity will drive toward our next outcrop and prepare for more contact science and imaging. Can’t wait to see what the next stop will hold!
Written by Lauren Edgar, Planetary Geologist at USGS Astrogeology Science Center