Curiosity is back on the road, but some interesting boulders caught our attention and led to a short detour. The team was already planning to divert to the southwest to get some imaging of nearby cliffs, but the large boulders that have tumbled down provide a tantalizing glimpse of what's to come.
Boulders like the large one shown in the above Navcam image (now named "Ilha Novo Destino") can help inform our understanding of the upcoming stratigraphy, so we thought it was worth a trip to this "new island destination" for the weekend.
But first, there's plenty of science to be done in our workspace before we get to the boulders. Today's two-sol plan focused on DRT, MAHLI, and APXS on the bedrock right in front of the rover, including the interesting vein and fracture patterns shown in the foreground of the above Navcam image.
Today we planned 3 MAHLI imaging targets and 2 APXS targets to assess the sedimentary textures and composition of bedrock and veins. We also planned ChemCam LIBS and Mastcam multispectral observations to further characterize this outcrop. Mastcam will also be used to document the field of boulders to help plan weekend activities, and ChemCam will acquire a long distance RMI mosaic to characterize the stratigraphy.
The ENV theme group planned several environmental monitoring activities to search for dust devils and monitor dust and clouds in the atmosphere. On the second sol, Curiosity will drive to a parking spot right in front of these boulders to prepare for the weekend plan. Can't wait to see this rover-sized boulder up close!
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Leaving Avanavero - Sol 3530
Pasadena CA (JPL) Jul 12, 2022
The MAHLI images acquired on Sol 3528 confirm that the APXS was well placed over the Avanavero drill tailings, and the APXS data look good so we are ready to drive away from this location. But first, we are planning a few more MAHLI and remote sensing observations. ChemCam will shoot its laser at a vein target named "Chiung" on the right side of the rover, then will acquire another RMI mosaic to extend the coverage of a bright mound with numerous veins. Mastcam will also extend stereo covera ... read more