Sol 2502-2503: Science to Exhaustion

By Ryan Anderson, Planetary Geologist at USGS Astrogeology Science Center

August 20, 2019
The Sol 2502-2503 plan starts with a couple of ChemCam observations on the bedrock targets “Papigoe” and “Princes Street,” followed by a Mastcam stereo mosaic of “Stone Row.” Then in the afternoon of Sol 2502, Curiosity will portion out all the sample material from the “Glen Etive” drill hole that remains in the drill stem, in an activity called “portion to exhaustion,” taking plenty of Mastcam images to document the process. Sol 2502 will end with an overnight APXS atmospheric observation.
On Sol 2503, ChemCam has some more activities, starting with an analysis of the bedrock target “Macbeth’s Cairn.” This will be followed by an autonomously targeted observation of some of the bright veins in the bedrock target “Lamlash.” ChemCam will finish up with an observation of some layers in the target “Prince Charlie’s Cave.” Mastcam will document all of these ChemCam observations and then Navcam will watch for dust devils and clouds. Finally, overnight CheMin will run another analysis of the “Glen Etive” drill sample.
This plan leaves our rover lower on power than originally planned, but with conjunction coming up, the team decided it was worth it to get all of this science done.