Curiosity Navcam Left B image taken on Sol 1800, August 29, 2017.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Now performing Sol 1802 duties, NASA’s Curiosity’s Mars rover drove on Sol 1801 bringing it to an excellent location for contact and remote science as part of a 3-sol plan that sets up the robot for a long Labor Day weekend.

That’s the report from Rachel Kronyak, a planetary geologist from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville.

Murray bedrock

The plan called for kicking off Sol 1802 with contact science, using Curiosity’s Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) plus the Alpha Particle X-Ray Spectrometer (APXS). The target is called “Tyler” – a region of Murray bedrock just in front of the rover.

Curiosity Mastcam Left image acquired on Sol 1800, August 29, 2017.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

“We’ll then enter into a very full, science-packed remote science block,” Kronyak notes, during which the rover will make Chemistry and Camera laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (ChemCam LIBS) observation on Tyler and take a number of Mastcam mosaics.

“These mosaics will look at sedimentary structures and layering within the beautifully exposed rocks of the Vera Rubin Ridge in front of us,” Kronyak adds. The mosaics are fairly extensive and will document the targets named “Pettegrove Point,” “Rumills Hub,” “Mink Rocks,” “The Downfall,” and “Popplestone Ledge.”

Stereo mosaics

“Most of the Mastcam observations in the plan are actually stereo mosaics, which means we take each image with both the left and right eyes of Mastcam,” Kronyak explains. “Stereo mosaics are pretty resource intensive, but they provide us with three-dimensional depth information, which is especially useful for making geologic interpretations.”

Curiosity Front Hazcam Left B image taken on Sol 1800, August 29, 2017.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech


Following Curiosity’s heavy science block, the robot will drive and collect standard post-drive images to set up for contact and remote science over the weekend. Also on tap is a post-drive Dynamic Albedo of Neutrons (DAN) and Rover Environmental Monitoring Station (REMS) observations, Kronyak concludes.

Curiosity ChemCam Remote Micro-Imager photo taken on Sol 1800, August 29, 2017.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/LANL

We’ll also do a post-drive DAN active along with our standard DAN passive and REMS observations.

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