On the primary sol of Christmas, Curiosity will convey to us; one APXS evaluation, one ChemCam evaluation and a mess of Mastcam, MAHLI and RMI photographs! On the second sol of Christmas, Curiosity will convey to us; extra ChemCam RMI photographs, extra Mastcam photographs, extra Navcam photographs and drive to a brand new, thrilling location.
To permit for the MSL science group and engineers to take a while off over the vacations, we sometimes uplink lengthy, multi-sol plans to maintain Curiosity occupied whereas we benefit from the festivities. The rocks at present uncovered in entrance of us have fascinating and delightful textures, which we are trying to characterize earlier than we drive away within the second sol of this 10-sol plan.
The darkish, gray rocks exhibit uncommon laminations with uniform spacing and thickness (termed rhythmic), with superimposed rounded and resistant, however hole protuberances (which now we have coined, barnacles). What processes had been chargeable for the formation of the rhythmic layering, and the “barnacles”?
How do these rocks evaluate compositionally and texturally with the instantly underlying rippled bedrock? These are all questions we hope to deal with with the suite of measurements we made in yestersol’s plan and people we uplink tosol.
ChemCam and APXS will measure the composition of the barnacles (“Aracara” and “Truaru” respectively), and Mastcam and MAHLI will picture these two targets on the primary sol. This knowledge will be in contrast with the compositional knowledge we obtained yestersol on the rhythmically layered rocks (e.g., “Tamandua”).
A MAHLI canine’s eye mosaic can even be acquired over a area of the “barnacled” texture (“Wapixana”) to hopefully make clear their formation course of. The canine’s eye mosaic includes plenty of photographs being acquired alongside the rock face, as near perpendicular as attainable. We’ll proceed to doc the rhythmic layering with Mastcam photographs of a area, “Quixada”.
Earlier than we drive on the second sol of our vacation plan, we are going to purchase yet one more ChemCam evaluation and Mastcam picture of the rhythmically laminated rocks on the goal, “Vert-Barauana”, that appears like a comparatively freshly uncovered face. Earlier than the drive, the ChemCam RMI functionality can even be utilized to picture the bedrock layer we’re at present investigating, off to the south.
The drive will take us again to an space that we beforehand drove over, exposing fascinating shiny soil and crushed rock. Earlier than we drive, we are going to seize a few of these disturbed shiny soils and rocks with Mastcam imaging. The intense soils and rocks will hopefully be in our workspace for the subsequent multi-sol vacation plan. To completely doc the terrain under us, and any transitions which will happen as we drive, a MARDI picture was additionally deliberate.
The environmental science group was additionally busy and deliberate a number of observations to proceed monitoring adjustments in atmospheric situations over the vacations. These embrace: a Navcam massive mud satan survey and suprahorizon film; a Mastcam stereo sky column and full tau commentary; and an APXS atmospheric measurement. Normal REMS, DAN and RAD actions spherical out this plan, with the REMS actions occurring within the background all through the ten sols.
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The calm after the rock-toddler-tantrums: Sols 3684-3686
Pasadena CA (JPL) Dec 20, 2022
Typically, I believe Mars rocks are only a bunch of toddlers whom now we have informed to tidy their play room. And the extra we wish one thing, the extra resistance we get. The most recent episode of ‘This-rock-is-too-hard-to-drill, says the rock,’ jogged my memory of our drill try at Vera Rubin Ridge. In June 2018, we had drilled Duluth and likewise weathered the mud storm. We then tried to drill a particular sort of rock with a hematite mineral signature noticed from orbit. Trying again at July 2018, we are able to re-live that s … read more
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