Sols 2020-21, April 12, 2018, update by MSL scientist Ken Herkenhoff: The top science priority for this plan is to acquire all of the data needed to adequately characterize the rocks at the current location before driving away. So the GEO Science Theme Group discussed the priorities of various proposed observations, including a Right Mastcam mosaic of the arm workspace and surrounding area, ChemCam LIBS targets, and a mosaic of the mid-field terrain toward the south. Fortunately, power modeling indicated that the pre-drive science block could be lengthened to 2 hours, which made it much easier to fit all of the desired observations into the plan.
First, ChemCam will measure the elemental chemistry of 4 nearby rock targets, called “Ledmore 2,” “Minginish,” “Askival 3,” and “Tyndrum 3.” Minginish has already been examined by MAHLI and APXS. Then the Right Mastcam will take images of Askival 3 and Ledmore 2, as well as a 9×1 mosaic of “Lorne Plateau” (the area to the south), a large mosaic to provide complete coverage of the area in front of the rover, named “Bressay,” and a 3×3 mosaic of the “Jedburgh” area closer the rover toward the south. All these data will give the science team plenty to think about as we try to better understand the variety of rocks at Bressay. [More at link]