MISSION UPDATES | March 5, 2021

Sols 3051-3053: In Your (Cliff) Face

Written by Ryan Anderson, Planetary Geologist at USGS Astrogeology Science Center
A flat patch of bright outcrop on Mars

This image was taken by Left Navigation Camera onboard NASA's Mars rover Curiosity on Sol 3049. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech. Download image ›

In planning today, the team decided to drive to a drill location closer to the cliff face of "Mont Mercou." Before we do that, Mastcam will take a stereo mosaic of the drill site (the flat patch of bright outcrop visible in this Navcam image) as well as a larger stereo mosaic of the cliff face to get a high-resolution look at the layers exposed there. ChemCam will join in too, with a 20-image mosaic of the top of the cliff. Mastcam also will search for dust devils and measure the amount of dust in the atmosphere on Sol 3051. In the late afternoon on Sol 3051, MAHLI will collect a series of images of the targets “Montrem” and “Peyrat” and then APXS will measure the composition of both targets, starting in the evening on Peyrat and continuing overnight on Montrem.

Sol 3052 will start with Navcam atmospheric observations, followed by ChemCam passive and Mastcam multispectral observations of the brushed spot on Montrem. Mastcam will also take a stereo mosaic of the target “Grand Brassac” and a nearby butte. We will then drive toward Mont Mercou and collect Navcams and a MARDI image from our new location. Overnight between sols 3052 and 3053, SAM has a calibration activity. On Sol 3053, we will use Navcam to watch for clouds, and both Navcam and Mastcam to measure atmospheric dust.