After a drive of almost 29 meters, we are parked at a site suitable for a busy plan full of contact science on the Murray formation. GEO focused mainly on characterizing nearby flagstone - "Duck Brook Bridge" was like the typical Murray formation that was tan in color, and "Cliffside Bridge" and "Waterfall Bridge" were more coarse-grained and gray. ChemCam will observe all of those targets, and APXS will measure both Duck Brook Bridge and Waterfall Bridge, with a long integration on Duck Brook Bridge. Mastcam observations will support that targeted science in addition to obtaining mosaics of fine-scale laminations on the "Stanley Brook Bridge" contact and alternating layering on "Chasm Brook Bridge." In the final targeted science block on Sol 1682, ChemCam will observe "Amphitheater Bridge" and nodule-rich "Cobblestone Bridge." A major component of the plan is the MAHLI full-wheel imaging that is periodically done to ascertain the state of the rover wheels. This is being done slightly earlier than usual in preparation for traction control driving (see Sol 1646 for more). Finally, after a drive, ChemCam will perform an AEGIS activity, and the usual post-drive imaging will be performed.
I worked the ENV STL role today and was busy planning a morning imaging suite for Sol 1683. In the suite, Navcam will search for clouds looking both directly above (zenith movie) and across the horizon (supra-horizon movie). Mastcam will measure the amount of dust in the atmosphere in two directions: in the direction of the sun and towards the crater rim - called a line-of-sight (LOS) extinction. Each of these measurements will be repeated in the afternoon to determine what, if any, diurnal changes occur. A 360 degree dust devil search like the one pictured above from Sol 1675 looking towards Mt. Sharp will be captured on Sol 1681. There do not appear to be dust devils in that image, but other sets of enhanced images have been more fruitful. Finally, a Navcam LOS extinction measurement will be taken for comparison with Mastcam. Normal REMS and RAD measurements as well as several DAN passive measurements and one DAN active were planned.
Dates of planned rover activities described in these reports are subject to change due to a variety of factors related to the Martian environment, communication relays and rover status.
Curiosity is continuing to make the most of the new year – both on Earth and on Mars which recently entered Mars Year 37, only a few days before the new year on Earth.
January 6, 2023
The team came into our first day of planning for 2023 to learn that all our holiday activities had executed as expected!
January 3, 2023