7 April 2018

Sols 2015-2017: Rover in a candy store

Posted by Ryan Anderson

Like Harry Potter in Honeydukes or Charlie in the Chocolate Factory, Curiosity rolled up to the proverbial candy store today, wondering ‘where to begin?!’ The variety of rock types in the workspace, the likes of which had not been seen for many hundreds of sols, made picking favorites a challenge. The job of surveying the variety was made easier by the opportunities to get four (4!) targets with a combination of MAHLI, APXS and ChemCam. MAHLI and APXS will image and analyze, respectively, the two large, gray blocks near the rover, ‘Staffa’ (left) and ‘Tyndrum’ (right). MAHLI and ChemCam will image and shoot, respectively, the targets ‘Askival,’ the bright white rock above Tyndrum, and ‘Hopeman,’ a lumpy rock which might be a conglomerate. Mastcam will cover much of the workspace with M100 images to get more detailed views of all the lithologies present, and will add multispectral observations over Hopeman, Askival and Tyndrum.

The atmosphere also got plenty of attention with mid- and late-day dust devil movies, early morning and late day cloud and dust observations, and an APXS Ar analysis.

Even with the embarrassment of riches in the weekend plan, the science team could not resist another shopping spree here. The weekend drive will pull us around the right side of the workspace to access some of the rocks that were not reachable from today’s parking spot. Stay tuned for more fun next week!

Written by Michelle Minitti, Planetary Geologist at Framework