MISSION UPDATES | April 13, 2019

Sols 2376-2378: Refining Composition and Mineralogy at Aberlady

Written by Vivian Sun, Planetary Geologist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Sols 2376-2378: Refining Composition and Mineralogy at Aberlady

We are continuing the sequence of drill activities at Aberlady. We will be collecting APXS of the dump pile with two offset observations to better understand any compositional variations, which are hinted at by the color variations observed in the drill fines (see above image). We will also be performing another CheMin integration to further refine the mineralogic analyses for Aberlady. We will also take MAHLI images of the dump pile and the drill hole. Discussions of whether we should drill again near our current workspace or drive away and drill elsewhere are still ongoing, but to cover our bases we planned an APXS and MAHLI observation of "Seil" for reconnaissance on potentially drillable bedrock.

Many of our remote sensing activities were designed to characterize the compositional variability of the bedrock in this region. We planned a series of ChemCam LIBS rasters on "Glen Water," "Ben Vane," "John O Groats," and "Kirkcaldy," as well as their corresponding Mastcam documentation images. We also planned a ChemCam target on a possible meteorite fragment called "Lumphanan." This observation is unusual because ChemCam targets are usually limited to within approximately 7 meters distance of the rover mast, as data quality decreases at longer distances. Lumphanan is more than 9 meters from the rover mast, but we decided to use this measurement as a long distance calibration activity.

Other observations in the weekend plan include a suite of atmospheric monitoring activities, including a Navcam dust devil survey. We are also taking advantage of our stationary location by continuing the change detection campaign with Mastcams of "Claymore" and MARDI observations. Lastly, we also planned a Mastcam mosaic of the sulfate unit to aid in targeting a ChemCam long-distance RMI observation of the sulfate unit.