Sol 1822, September 21, 2017, update by MSL scientist Mark Salvatore: Curiosity continues her traverse across the lowermost portions of Vera Rubin Ridge, where she continues to investigate the interesting rock textures and colors ahead. Our current location is quite dusty, which motivated the science team to focus on a relatively quick characterization of the surrounding bedrock, which will allow the rover to drive away and continue making progress towards some of the other interesting locations within Vera Rubin Ridge. The upcoming plan involves a quick “touch-and-go” using the APXS and MAHLI instruments for the chemical and morphological investigation (respectively) of a flat piece of bedrock named “Sherwood Forest.” After stowing her arm, Curiosity will then use Mastcam and ChemCam to analyze both “Sherwood Forest” and a dark-toned target named “Tableland.” These targets are located just to the left of center in this front Hazcam image.
Before driving away, Curiosity will also create a high-resolution Mastcam mosaic of a region to the southwest of her current location. This region was identified from orbit as a potential region of interest, as it shows a relatively steep slope with some potentially interesting bedrock exposures. Ever since ascending onto Vera Rubin Ridge, Curiosity has been making progress towards this location to determine whether it is worth investigating from close-range. As it turns out, the region doesn’t appear all that different from the parts of the ridge that Curiosity has already been exploring. [More at link]