Lauren’s Sol 1627-1629 Update: Driving again

03 March 2017 – Good news: the MAHLI cover was successfully opened and the instrument is marked healthy again. That means it’s time to close the cover, and if that’s successful, drive away toward the next stop in the Bagnold Dunes Campaign. I was the GSTL again and it was a pretty straightforward planning day. On the first sol, we’ll acquire ChemCam observations on “Swanback” and “Rangely” to assess the composition of a ripple crest and a bright patch of bedrock. We’ll also use Mastcam to image the rover deck to monitor the movement of fines. In the afternoon, we’ll close the MAHLI cover and run a few more diagnostics. The second sol starts with an early science block for environmental monitoring, including Navcam and Mastcam observations to look for clouds and monitor the amount of dust in the atmosphere. Later in the day we’ll use Navcam to search for dust devils. Then Mastcam will acquire a large mosaic of the stratigraphy exposed beneath the hematite ridge, and ChemCam will target “Thorofare” to assess the composition of veins in the local bedrock. We’ll also acquire a long distance ChemCam RMI mosaic to monitor the slope of Mt. Sharp and look for changes. Throughout the first and second sols, we’ll continue to take Mastcam images to monitor changes in sand movement. Then Curiosity will drive further to the south, and take post-drive imaging to prepare for targeting next week. The third sol is devoted to a few more environmental monitoring activities, an autonomously selected ChemCam target, and some ChemCam calibration activities. Looking forward to driving again and getting a new view!

Lauren Edgar is a Research Geologist at the USGS Astrogeology Science Center and a member of the MSL science team.

Dates of planned rover activities described in these reports are subject to change due to a variety of factors related to the Martian environment, communication relays and rover status.

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