26 June 2019
We are continuing our exploration of Glen Torridon (the clay-bearing unit) and the varied lithologies exposed in this area of Gale crater, including more rubbly bedrock that is mixed with sand, and more coherent bedrock exposed both in the ground and capping prominent ridges. Curiosity continued the drive away from one of these ridges, Teal Ridge, towards another low-lying lip and ridge of exposed bedrock that we are referring to as ‘Harlaw.’ The drive in yestersol‘s plan put us about 9 m away from Harlaw and in a perfect position to get some context Mastcam mosaics of the area that will help us interpret the results of our planned closeup investigation of this area.
Before the planned drive towards Harlaw in tosol‘s plan, we will examine the rubbly ground immediately in front of the rover, using APXS, MAHLI, ChemCam and Mastcam. We will get a short morning APXS integration, closeup MAHLI images and ChemCam on a target ‘Tolsta,’ ChemCam only on a target ‘Yell Sound’ and accompanying Mastcam imaging of the workspace to continue monitoring the composition and texture of the rubbly bedrock as we traverse the Glen Torridon region.
Environmental observations included standard background REMS activities to monitor the daily martian weather, RAD to monitor the radiation environment and DAN passive to study the abundance and distribution of subsurface hydrogen- and water-bearing materials. A Navcam dustdevil survey and suprahorizon movie are also included. The suprahorizon movie will look for clouds and the optical depth of the atmosphere.
As well as monitoring activities to write this blog today, as the APXS strategic planner for this week, I helped pick the ‘Tolsta’ target this morning and prepared our weekly instrument update for the science team.
Written by Lucy Thompson, Planetary Geologist at University of New Brunswick