15 January 2018
What’s in a name? From its rather innocuous sounding informal site name, you might not guess that location ‘e’ would generate such excitement in the science team. The first thing the science team on shift did was decide to stay at the current location rather than drive away. This was primarily driven by the large suite of excellent science targets available in the workspace. These targets continue to help constrain the geologic story of the Vera Rubin Ridge.
Two arm targets for APXS integrations were quickly chosen by the science team and handed off to the Rover Planners for assessment (‘Ross of Mull’ and ‘Mcleans Nose’). ‘Ross of Mull’ is a grayer bedrock area with nodular material nearby, while ‘Mcleans Nose’ is a prominent gray toned resistant feature. ChemCam data was acquired of a suite of targets, including those that had the elongate, raised, linear features known by the team as ‘sticks’, as well as the two APXS targets. Documentation imaging of these targets, including multispectral imaging to characterize the visible/near-infrared spectral properties of the site, will happen over the course of the plan. MAHLI imaging of the workspace will continue and is likely to produce stunning images such as this captured of the ‘Canna’ target region from the previous sol‘s plan. Mars continues to provide Curiosity with some fabulous rocks for investigation!
Written by Christopher Edwards, Planetary Geologist at Northern Arizona University