28 May 2019

Sols 2419-2421: Easy Driving

Posted by Ryan Anderson

We’ve left multiple tracks across the cobblestone plain of Glen Torridon. This image shows our current view to the northeast, with the slope of Mount Sharp on the right and the scarp of Vera Rubin Ridge on the left. Curiosity had a nice, long drive retracing our path back toward the southwest where we want to look at some rock layers in more detail. It’s always nice to look back on an area that taught you a lot while heading forward to answer new questions.

Today, we planned another 3 sols of activities for Curiosity. We start off sol 2419 with Mastcam images of ‘Scolty Bay’ and ‘Tomintoul,’ both of which we imaged on our way east on sols 2385 and 2363, respectively. We follow up with ChemCam analyses and Mastcam documentation images of ‘Hillhead,’ ‘Kinghorn,’ and ‘Cumbernauld’ to characterize different colored pebbles. Later in the first sol, we will take MAHLI images of Hillhead, Kinghorn, and ‘Kintore’ as well as analyze their elemental compositions with APXS. APXS will collect data on Kinghorn overnight to increase the precision of the analysis.

We start sol 2420 by retracting the arm and swinging it to clean any dust off the APXS instrument. ChemCam then analyzes a fourth target, ‘Cupar,’ before a drive of about 60 meters to Woodland Bay. Curiosity will take post-drive images to help us plan the next set of activities, and ChemCam will automatically analyze a target.

After Curiosity arrives at its new parking spot, we will take Mastcam and Navcam images of the sun and sky, plus look for dust devils.

Written by Dawn Sumner, Planetary Geologist at University of California Davis