MISSION UPDATES | April 30, 2021

Sols 3105-3107: Let's Try That Again…

Written by Abigail Fraeman, Planetary Geologist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Parts of the rover are visible in this Mars view captured by the Left Navigation camera

This image was taken by the Left Navigation Camera onboard NASA's Mars rover Curiosity on Sol 3104. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech. Download image ›

There was a small hiccup opening MAHLI’s dust cover at the beginning of sol 3103 plan which precluded many of the activities that we had hoped to complete in that plan, including the drive. We therefore started our morning still perched near the edge of "Mont Mercou" at the “Bardou” drill location. While it’s too bad we weren’t able to drive away, the team did a great job making lemonade out of lemons, and we took the opportunity to sneak in a few more observations before leaving. These will include filling in a small gap in our impressive Mastcam stereo coverage of the area and collecting an APXS observation over the densest portion of the dumped drilled sample.

We’ll begin our three-sol weekend plan by acquiring a ChemCam LIBS observation on a bedrock target named “Jumilhac le Grand,” a ChemCam passive spectral observation on a mixed vein and bedrock target named “Tour Blanche,” some Mastcam images of the nearby rocks, and Mastcam and Navcam observations to monitor the environment. After our remote sensing, MAHLI will snap a photo of the drill tailings pile, and then we’ll spend the evening and late night collecting APXS data from the dumped drilled sample and from the drill tailings pile. On the second sol of the plan, we’ll collect more Mastcam images, including some Mastcam multispectral images of the drill tailings, and environmental monitoring data. After night falls, we’ll run a second CheMin analysis on the Bardou drilled sample that is still stored inside the instrument. Finally, on the last sol of the plan, we’ll try once again to pack up and drive away, continuing our journey onwards and upwards.