by Catherine O'Connell-Cooper | Planetary Geologist - UNB
Pasadena CA (JPL) Dec 13, 2023
Earth planning date: Monday, December 11, 2023: Today's 2-sol plan was a "Touch and Go" plan, where we do some short science activities (ChemCam and/or MAHLI and APXS) in our workspace early in the morning and then drive to a new workspace. Unfortunately, due to a minor issue with the arm, the weekend plan only partially executed. As Susane reported on Friday, we had planned to DRT the dark toned "Wren Peak" target, take some MAHLI images of the brushed spot, use APXS to analyze the DRT spot and then take some ChemCam LIBS of nearby target "Fish Springs."
Luckily, this issue was one that the rover planners (RPs) were able to understand quite quickly. We planned to recover these activities which made planning relatively straight forward this morning, as it was just a repeat of parts of the weekend plan. The DRT and some of the planned MAHLIs did execute in the weekend, so APXS and MAHLI asked to complete the activities on the now brushed Wren Peak.
This target has a cool, holey texture that looks a bit like some kind of Swiss cheese... Martian style! (see the accompanying MAHLI image) This morning APXS integration will be shorter (20 minutes total) than our originally planned weekend integration (2 hours) but will still be able to give us geochemical data for this intriguing dark toned material. ChemCam also opted to recover the Fish Springs target.
The drive will also be heading to the same EOD ("end of direction") that we had planned for in the past weekend. These rocks, as Susanne noted, appear to be quite platy - we won't know until we get there if they also still incorporate that weird "Swiss cheese" texture!