Sol 1895-96, December 5, 2017, update by MSL scientist Mark Salvatore: After spending the weekend analyzing the chemistry of several interesting targets, the science team has planned yet another action-packed science investigation into Curiosity’s next two days on Vera Rubin Ridge. In addition, while Curiosity has spent the last several weeks progressing largely to the south, the team has started to command Curiosity to head more towards the east, doglegging left along the nominal Mt. Sharp Ascent Route (MSAR). Over the next few days, the plan is for Curiosity to investigate what appears to be a small eroded impact crater as well as an erosional window into some visually distinct bedrock outcrops.
Before reaching these targets, Curiosity will conduct some additional investigations of the VRR and the local blocky materials. Sol 1895 has a 1.5 hour block of time dedicated to remote observations of the surrounding terrain. Curiosity will begin with some Mastcam color images of two interesting targets in front of the rover: a blocky exposure of fractured bedrock (named “Mapedi”) and a nodular piece of bedrock (named “Koonap”). Afterwards, ChemCam will make active LIBS measurements on three bedrock targets (named “Naute,” “Mzamba,” and “Nauga,” located above the shadow of Curiosity’s mast in the provided Navcam image) that are different in tone than other dusty materials in front of the rover, followed by a Mastcam documentation image of this target area. [More at link]