29 April 2018
A successful drive in the weekend plan set Curiosity up nicely for a full sol of contact and remote science. The main priority during planning today was to image the outcrop we’ve called ‘Red Cliff,’ a beautiful vertical cliff face seen in the mid-field of the Navcam image above.
We’ll use both the ChemCam RMI and Mastcam to image Red Cliff, which will give us a really nice, well-rounded dataset in order to fully characterize the features and sedimentary structures present in the outcrop. Aside from imaging, we’ll assess some local bedrock targets. With ChemCam LIBS, we’ll analyze targets ‘Paulsen Lake,’ ‘Negaunee,’ and ‘Nashwauk.’ With MAHLI and APXS, we’ll perform additional analyses on Nashwauk. Finally, we’ll do some standard ENV activities, including REMS, DAN, and a tau measurement. During a tau observation, we use Mastcam to measure the optical depth of the atmosphere. This is particularly useful for understanding the scattering properties of the molecules and particles that are present in the martian atmosphere. Happy Mars Monday!
Written by Rachel Kronyak, Planetary Geologist at University of Tennessee