MISSION UPDATES | November 20, 2019

Sols 2592-2593: '...Till Birnam Forest Come to Dunsinane'

Written by Mark Salvatore, Planetary Geologist at University of Michigan
Sols 2592-2593: '...Till Birnam Forest Come to Dunsinane'

Because of several power-hungry activities, Curiosity's planned science activities needed to be rather thin for the next two sols. However, we were still able to plan some great science observations and get us ready for our next move through the clay-bearing Glen Torridon region. First, Curiosity will acquire a series of Mastcam images of the surrounding workspace to document the rock texture and composition along the western slope of Central Butte, a large topographic high that has been the target of exploration over the past week or so. These observations will include multispectral images of the most recent contact science target (named "Muckle Flugga," see image), two high-resolution mosaics (one of the terrain just off the front-right wheel and one of the edge of Central Butte), and imaging of a knobby rock unit in front of the rover. Then, Curiosity will perform a maneuver called "Full MAHLI Wheel Imaging," where we use the MAHLI instrument to image Curiosity's wheels to monitor damage over the course of its traverse. The following day, Curiosity will drive away from its current location and continue exploring the Glen Torridon Unit, followed by some post-drive imaging to aid with planning weekend science activities.

Two new target names in today's plan are "Birnam Wood" and "Dunsinane," which are both referred to in Shakespeare's famous tragedy Macbeth. Fortunately, Curiosity doesn't have to worry about battling royalty for control of the throne - Curiosity is already the Ruler of Gale crater!