7 November 2017

Sol 1870-1871: Back in the groove

Posted by Ryan Anderson

Above is a Navcam image of Curiosity’s location after a successful drive on Sol 1869. The shadows show the Robotic Arm (RA) and turret on the left, and the Remote Sensing Mast (RSM) to the lower right. I can’t help but think that Curiosity is giving us a ‘high-five’ for another stellar drive!

Today we planned a jam-packed 2 sols of remote and contact science as we continue our journey along the Vera Rubin Ridge (VRR). On the first sol, Sol 1870, we’ll do a ChemCam observation on the bedrock target ‘Waboomberg,’ followed by some Mastcam imaging of nearby VRR features, including exposed rock layers and light-colored bedrock. We’ll then use the DRT to brush the surface on target ‘Platberg,’ which is followed by MAHLI imaging and an APXS analysis. We’ll do additional APXS and MAHLI observations on Waboomberg.

On the second sol, Sol 1871, we’ll continue our science observations by using ChemCam and Mastcam multispectral to target Platberg. It’s quite common that we use multiple instruments on a single target – this is to corroborate datasets and give us a more complete, thorough analysis. We’ll take an additional Mastcam image of ‘St. Lucia’ to look at some interesting bedrock features by Curiosity’s wheel. Finally, we’ve planned a nice suite of ENV activities, which will include DAN, REMS, a Mastcam tau, and a Mastcam line-of-sight extinction image. To wrap up the plan, we’ll drive to our next VRR stop, take some standard post-drive images, and set ourselves up for an exciting weekend of science on Mars!

Written by Rachel Kronyak, Planetary Geologist at University of Tennessee