MISSION UPDATES | November 30, 2021

Sol 3313: Onwards and Sidewards

Written by Fred Calef, Planetary Geologist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Boulder field below the Greenheugh Pediment

This image shows a boulder field below the Greenheugh Pediment taken by Left Navigation Camera onboard NASA's Mars rover Curiosity on Sol 3312. Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech. Download image ›

The rover rarely drives in a straight line, and our recent drive took the "road less traveled" to investigate a bunch of boulders shed down from a cliff face off to the side of our expected traverse to the south. Why? Beneath the Greenheugh Pediment, the flat-lying, high-standing escarpment to the west, the scientists could see a unique layer with a convoluted texture. In our drive today, we're headed to blocks from this layer that have rolled down close to the cliff base. First, the rover will do some contact science with MAHLI on target "Camusnagaul," which is likely a fragment from the top of the pediment. We'll take ChemCam and Mastcam observations on target "Dutch Village" to create a higher resolution mosaic of the pediment. Another Mastcam mosaic will be created on "Old Scatness" to document some partially exposed bedrock near the rover as well as one on the nearby boulder field. Well do some atmospheric science as well with an APXS atmospheric overnight integration, dust devil survey, suprahorizon movie, and line-of-sight observation.