MISSION UPDATES | February 16, 2021

Sol 3034: Mars Science Buffet

Written by Sean Czarnecki, Planetary Geologist at Arizona State University
A black and white view of Mars

This image was taken by Left Navigation Camera onboard NASA's Mars rover Curiosity on Sol 3032. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech. Download image

Curiosity is staying put in today's plan and feasting on some bonus science. Our goal remains to traverse away from the rocks we have determined are clay-rich and toward the overlying sulfate-rich rocks uphill. But for the current plan, the team decided to stay at this location a little longer and get a better taste of what the rocks here have to offer before executing a longer drive toward the sulfate strata in the following plan.

Our appetizers include standard activities for DAN, REMS, and RAD as well as Navcam and Mastcam monitoring of the atmosphere and dust devils. Our science buffet includes ChemCam and Mastcam images of targets "Beauregard" and "Sorges," which have interesting dark inclusion features that have been seen recently and these observations will help the team understand them better. (We don't expect these to be chocolate chips, but better to get good images to be sure...) Mastcam is also imaging the bedrock target "Labraud" and sand target "Fleurac." MAHLI and APXS are hungry for science as well, so we will get MAHLI images and APXS analysis of the brushed target "Limeyrat," a perfect target for dessert. Yum!