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  • A chip off the old block: Sols 3534-3536

A chip off the old block: Sols 3534-3536

Written by  Wednesday, 20 July 2022 11:12
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Pasadena CA (JPL) Jul 20, 2022
We have been making our way to a large boulder "Ilha Nova Destino" (which from the distance looks remarkably like the Hogwarts Sorting Hat from Harry Potter!) and landed about 3 metres back from the block. Although we would have loved to get closer, the boulder is as large as the rover (as tall as an SUV) and considerably less stable looking, appearing to be almost perched up on one side.

We have been making our way to a large boulder "Ilha Nova Destino" (which from the distance looks remarkably like the Hogwarts Sorting Hat from Harry Potter!) and landed about 3 metres back from the block.

Although we would have loved to get closer, the boulder is as large as the rover (as tall as an SUV) and considerably less stable looking, appearing to be almost perched up on one side. To reduce danger to Curiosity, we planned to keep our distance, just getting close enough for ChemCam LIBS.

ChemCam will combine LIBS compositional measurements (on targets "Serra Dourada," "Serra Nova Olinda" and "Serra da Lua") and RMI imaging (on targets "Ilha de Maraca" and "Ilha Sao Lourenco") to conduct a very thorough survey of the rock.

Mastcam will undertake a multispectral analysis of the boulder, and image "St Marys" along the base of the boulder, looking at the contact with the underlying bedrock. Mastcam will also target a second large float rock "Wineperu," which can be seen to the right of the Ilha Nova Destino boulder in the Front Haz camera image above.

As APXS Strategic Planner this week, I was disappointed that we would not get close enough to use APXS to look at the composition of this large boulder. But, almost magically, when we started planning this morning, we discovered a small float block that may have broken off Ilha Nova Destion - you can see this float "Monte Caburai" in the shadow in front of the boulder in the Front Haz camera image.

This float block was close enough to allow both APXS and MAHLI to analyze it. Additionally, MAHLI were able to add a "dogs-eye" (a set of overlapping images which are used to make a larger mosaic) along the base of Ilha Nova Destino, looking at the layering.

In addition to this, ENV will continue to monitor environmental conditions in Gale, tracking dust level changes in the atmosphere and watching for dust devils on the ground.

REMS will record temperatures and DAN continues to look for evidence of hydrogen (hydrogen detection may indicate the presence of water in minerals). We will drive onwards on the third sol of the plan, driving to the right past Wineperu, which will allow us to look back at Ilha Nova Destino and get some images of the back of the boulder.

Approaching Bolivar Sol 3537
by Kenneth Herkenhoff | Planetary Geologist - USGS Astrogeology Science Center
Pasadena CA (JPL) Jul 20 - The Sol 3536 drive went well, getting MSL closer to the cliffs of interest toward the south of the rover. This one-sol plan includes both arm activities and another drive, squeezed into the time available before the mid-afternoon opportunity to "phone home."

Mastcam will be busy at the start of the plan, measuring the amount of dust in the atmosphere above the rover, imaging the back side of the big Ilha Novo Destino boulder that was the subject of several investigations last weekend, and acquiring stereo mosaics of a bright outcrop named "Issineru," the layered bedrock capping the nearby "Bolivar" hill, and a boulder named "Arumim" that appears to have rolled down from Bolivar.

Then ChemCam will fire its laser at a nearby bedrock outcrop target dubbed "Cerro Raya" and acquire an RMI mosaic of sedimentary structures in the Bolivar caprock seen along the skyline in this Navcam image.

I supported the ChemCam team today by adjusting both target locations to ensure good coverage of interesting features. Mastcam will also acquire a stereo mosaic of the bedding exposed near the rover, which will include the Cerro Raya target, before taking a break while MAHLI takes images of the laser spots on Cerro Raya. There isn't enough time in this plan for DRT brushing of the MAHLI target, so we're hoping that ChemCam's laser will clean some of the dust off of Cerro Raya so that fine grains and micro-textures will be visible to MAHLI.

After the arm is stowed, Mastcam and Navcam will image the workspace to look for material that may have spilled out of the drill assembly. Then a short drive toward the southeast is planned, followed by the standard post-drive imaging that will be used to plan Sol 3538 activities, and another MARDI twilight image of the ground behind the left front wheel.


Related Links
Curiosity Mars Science Laboratory
Mars News and Information at MarsDaily.com
Lunar Dreams and more

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MARSDAILY
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


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