“Duluth” – perhaps the next drill target.
Curiosity Navcam Right B image acquired on Sol 2052, May 15, 2018.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

 

Now in Sol 2053, NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover is slated to Bump to “Duluth” – perhaps the next drill target.

Reports Rachel Kronyak, a planetary geologist at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville: “A successful drive on Sol 2052 brought Curiosity within bumping distance of what will likely be our next intended drill target. The science team named this target ‘Duluth.’ Duluth is a beautifully exposed Murray formation block.”

Curiosity Navcam Left B photo taken on Sol 2052, May 15, 2018.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

 

 

Nice vantage point

“From our current location,” Kronyak adds, “we have a really nice vantage point of both the top and sides of the Duluth block. Analyzing blocks that have this kind of 3-D expression gives us a great opportunity to assess the full architecture of the rock.”

A new plan for Sol 2053 includes a science block prior to the Curiosity bump. In the science block, researchers will acquire several Chemistry and Camera (ChemCam) Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectrometer (LIBS) rasters on targets “Pine Mountain” and “Windigo,” both of which are located on the Duluth block.

Curiosity Mastcam Left image acquired on Sol 2051, May 14, 2018.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

The plan also calls for the robot to take Mastcam images of Duluth to document the ChemCam observations and to provide some additional context on the vertically exposed sides of the block, Kronyak notes.

Drilling campaign

Curiosity environmental observations are in the plan as well, including Dynamic Albedo of Neutrons (DAN) measurements and a dust devil survey with Navcam.

“After our bump, Kronyak adds, “we’ll take some post-drive images to set up for an exciting drilling campaign over the next several sols!”

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