Curiosity update: Driving ‘home’ for the holidays

NRB_566618611EDR_F0671494NCAM07753M_-br2Sol 1909-10, December 18, 2017, update by MSL scientist Lauren Edgar: Today’s planning session kicked off with an important decision about where to drive and how that will set us up for exciting science over the holidays. After much discussion, the team decided to return to some familiar yet intriguing rocks that we explored last week, visible in the above Navcam image. These rocks show a lot of color variations and alteration features (as seen in the above Mastcam image), and we’re curious how they fit in the overall stratigraphy at Vera Rubin Ridge. The other main event in today’s plan is a SAM wet chemistry experiment on the Ogunquit Beach sample. This is a very power hungry activity, so we had to keep our other remote sensing activities in check. The team planned two Mastcam mosaics to document the context of the site we’re driving back to, and to investigate similar color variations in an outcrop to the southeast. After a busy night of SAM activities, Curiosity will spend the second sol driving back toward an area named “Lismore.” During the drive we’ll take a bunch of MARDI images to document the terrain… [More at link]

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