MISSION UPDATES | June 7, 2021

Sols 3142-3143: Workspace of the Imagination

Written by Michelle Minitti, Planetary Geologist at Framework
This is a black and white image of Mars' surface.

This image was taken by Left Navigation Camera onboard NASA's Mars rover Curiosity on Sol 3140. Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech Download image ›

Another successful long drive brought us to another wondrous workspace, filled with textures and structures the team could not wait to explore. The engineers made it possible to get the arm to two targets for MAHLI and APXS analyses. The first, “Minzac,” is a small area of bedrock relatively free of veins and nodules. The second, “Terrasson Lavilledieu,” which in France is home to “The Garden of the Imagination” (a contemporary public park designed to represent the history of gardens), is a patch of gray vein material opportunistically lying flat for easy arm access. This vein material was sufficiently interesting to the team that it will also be the subject of Mastcam multispectral and ChemCam passive observations at the target “Videix.” Videix and Terrasson Lavilledieu are in very close proximity on the vein target, unlike their counterparts in France.

ChemCam will shoot across a nodule and bedrock at the target “Vayres,” and Mastcam will get another multispectral observation at this same target. The mid- and farfield terrain was as interesting as our workspace, and garnered imaging attention from both Mastcam and ChemCam. Mastcam will acquire a small mosaic of “Larzac,” a three dimensional jumble of intersecting veins standing up above the bedrock, a ten-image mosaic of the foot of a ridge extending down from higher on Mount Sharp, and a larger mosaic stretching from the workspace along the starboard side of the rover. ChemCam will acquire a long distance RMI mosaic of a butte in the sulfate unit many kilometers up the road from our current position.

As we sit at our current workspace, as we drive to our next one, and after we arrive there, DAN will ping the ground beneath the back wheels of the rover, tracking the H signal within the subsurface. RAD and REMS run regularly throughout the plan, continuing to build their steady records of the radiation and weather conditions in Gale. Navcam will acquire dust devil and cloud movies on the first sol of the plan, and both Navcam and Mastcam will measure the amount of dust in the atmosphere with images on second sol of the plan.