Continuing the steady march up Mt. Sharp, Curiosity drove 18.3 m to bring us closer to a series of features being called megaripples, which are darker and larger ripples than were seen on the Bagnold Dunes. Touch-and-go was again the option for this plan (see Sols 1684 and 1685), and GEO made use of it with contact science on two targets, "Newport Ledge" and "Sugarloaf Mountain." These two targets are the closest two rocks protruding above the sand in the Navcam image above. MAHLI will target Newport Ledge to gauge grain size and distribution. A series of observations by APXS and ChemCam on Newport Ledge will continue to investigate the variations in the Murray bedrock over the course of the ascent up Mt. Sharp. Mastcam will target Newport Ledge and Sugarloaf Mountain to look at stratification and layering. After a drive that should take Curiosity to the edge of the megaripples, ChemCam will perform an AEGIS activity, and Navcam will document the new surroundings.
In working as the ENV theme lead today, I planned a pair of afternoon dust observations with Mastcam, looking in the direction of the sun and towards the crater rim (a line-of-sight extinction). As usual, REMS will capture the top of the hour five-minute observations and hour-long blocks of environmental measurements. In addition, a two-hour block of high-resolution data for the humidity sensor will be taken in the early morning. The high-resolution capture of humidity data is only sparingly used because it requires the ground temperature and wind sensors to be turned off as the heat they generate interferes with the humidity measurements. A DAN passive and post-drive active measurement will be acquired as well.
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 successfully followed her tracks and is back near the Encanto drill site! With a beautiful workspace in view, the science and operations team had a busy day of planning on the “Marker band” surface.
February 6, 2023
Today we made a three-sol plan for the weekend including contact science, lot of imaging, and a long drive back toward the previously attempted marker band drill target, Encanto.
February 5, 2023
The drive in our last plan took us to an area that appeared somewhat smoother and brighter from orbit (as well as from drive direction imaging) on the so-called “Marker band” that we have been investigating.
February 1, 2023
The Sol 3727 drive went well, positioning the rover at the transition in the Marker Band that was the goal of the drive.
January 30, 2023
Today we came in to see another really beautiful workspace.
January 27, 2023
Your blogger is a little tired right now… I am just back from a field trip to the salt flats in Botswana, guided by colleagues from BUIST University, walking, viewing and sampling in 38 °C heat.
January 25, 2023
Despite giving it the “old college try,” Curiosity’s attempt to drill into the Marker Band at the “Encanto” site did not reach sampling depth.
January 23, 2023
In the previous plan, Curiosity conducted a preliminary assessment of the potential drill target “Encanto” (as seen in the above MAHLI image) and today we received the data.
January 20, 2023
Yesterday’s plan executed successfully including a short bump that placed us in front of an interesting block that may just contain our next drilled target!
January 18, 2023
Curiosity's science and engineering team members were back at it today after a holiday long weekend, while Curiosity itself was ready and waiting after its own soliday weekend.
January 17, 2023
We received the data that we had been missing during Wednesday’s planning, so we hit the ground running today, ready to plan for contact science and our drive onto the Marker Band in this new location!
January 16, 2023
At this point in the mission, the team is very good at responding to tactical surprises.
January 11, 2023
Mastcam image of the 3708 workspace.
January 10, 2023
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