Curiosity update: Mars of many colors

1809ML0093400040702522E01_DXXX-br2Sol 1811-14, September 12, 2017, update by MSL scientist Joseph Battalio: Today was an exciting day of planning as Curiosity continued her ascent up Vera Rubin Ridge. The focus of the weekend plan was on carefully documenting the changes in stratigraphy as we leave the Murray bedrock. Fortunately, we are privy to a bevy of interesting targets and contrasting colors.

On the first sol of the plan, GEO concentrated on planning contact science with the rover arm and was eager to target purple (yes, not red, but purple) and tan facies of the exposed bedrock. As an atmospheric scientist, such an astounding set of contrasting tones catches even my attention. Many of the observations in the plan will be focused on determining the exact structure and composition of the purple rocks and how composition changes between purple and tan. “Sasanoa” is a tan, homogeneous target, and GEO planned MAHLI and APXS observations to assess grain size and composition. MAHLI and APXS will also target “Kemps Folly,” which is a purple toned rock with fine banding. MAHLI alone will take a mosaic of “Mount Ephraim,” which is a dark purple section of bedrock pictured in the bottom center of the above image, to assess sedimentary structures… [More at link]

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