19 June 2019

Sol 2441-2442: So much to do before the Holiday

Posted by Ryan Anderson

Curiosity is still parked on Teal Ridge and is in the midst of an extended contact science campaign. This ridge location, shown in the attached image over Curiosity’s shoulder, is exciting because it shows crossbedding in a bedrock layer, as well as a contact between the bedrock outcrop and a rubbly layer below. We hoped to use the DRT to remove dust, but we still didn’t have Mastcam workspace imaging to support DRT use on the bedrock. Happily, we were able to reach some of the rubbly material that we previously thought we’d have to bump to. We picked two contact science targets – ‘Urr’ (rubbly) and ‘Calgary Bay’ (cap unit of the ridge); we planned MAHLI and APXS on both.

In addition to contact science, we’re doing remote sensing with ChemCam and Mastcam on Calgary Bay and another cap unit target called ‘Irvine.’ There is also a lot of ENV imaging in the plan, including change detection (which will continue into the next plan) on Sandyhills. Also part of our ENV campaign, we included a coordinated suite of observations including a SAM methane experiment, ChemCam sky imaging, Mastcam tau, crater rim extinction, and a Navcam dust devil survey.

As the Supra-Tactical Lead today, I am also looking ahead to the rest of this campaign. DRT and MAHLI dog’s eye will likely be in our next plan in order to get a more dust-free APXS observation and to get a low-angle look at the crossbedding visible in the Mastcams. We’ll be continuing contact and targeted science at this location until we drive away, presently scheduled for the middle of the weekend plan.

Written by Ashley Stroupe, Mission Operations Engineer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory