Sol 1732-33, June 19, 2017, update by MSL scientist Mark Salvatore: As this is my first time contributing to the MSL blog, I’d like to quickly introduce myself to you all. I’m Mark, an MSL Participating Scientist and a faculty member at Northern Arizona University, trained in geochemistry, spectroscopy, and remote sensing. I’m excited to help walk you all through the daily endeavors of this wonderful rover and mission!
Curiosity continues to make progress along its planned ascent route up Mt. Sharp, and is quickly approaching the hematite-bearing Vera Rubin Ridge. As a refresher, Vera Rubin Ridge is a high-standing unit that runs parallel to and along the eastern side of the Bagnold Dunes. From orbit, Vera Rubin Ridge has been shown to exhibit signatures of hematite, an oxidized iron phase whose presence can help us to better understand the environmental conditions present when this mineral assemblage formed.
Over the weekend, Curiosity drove approximately 32 meters and parked in front of a large rocky slab (about the size of a large dining room table) with smaller rocky patches nearby, perfect for our continued documentation of the local bedrock. This slab will be extensively imaged using Mastcam. In addition to…. [More at link]