Sols 2029-31, April 20, 2018, update by MSL scientist Abigail Fraeman: Curiosity drove a whopping ~85 m to the northwest in the sol 2027 plan. Besides being long, this drive was remarkable because it marked a shift in Curiosity’s strategic campaign: we have officially finished our initial reconnaissance of Vera Rubin Ridge, and we are beginning our journey down off the ridge, heading north into an area where we would like to test the rover’s drill. The guidance from the team is now “drive, drive, drive!,” while still doing as much opportunistic science as we can along the way of course.
With the sol 2027 drive, we have also officially entered the Biwabik Quad. You may recall we flirted with the boundary of this quad back on sol 2004-2007 and 2009-2012. Biwabik is a city in the United States in northern Minnesota that is connected with the Mesabi Range. This range contains a vast iron deposit, so we felt it was a perfect choice for the hematite-rich area we are currently exploring. (Hematite is an iron-rich mineral). Entering a… [More at link]