Curiosity update: Poised

2054ML0108870040800875E01_DXXX-br2Sols 2056-58, May 21, 2018, update by MSL scientist Michelle Minitti: This weekend, Curiosity will attempt to sink the drill into the complexly-layered “Duluth” block. Before that, she will gather more data from the “Blunts Point” member rocks in front of and around us.

The Duluth target, neatly cleared of dust by the DRT in yesterday’s plan, will be observed by ChemCam’s passive mode and Mastcam’s multispectral mode to gauge what iron mineralogy was hiding beneath the target’s thin veneer of dust. ChemCam will shoot three targets to learn more about the chemistry of the layers within the Duluth block and similar blocks around it. Within the Duluth block, ChemCam will target “Chisholm,” the delicate layer curling up above the top of the Duluth block, and “Aitkin,” another layer jutting out from the side of the block.

The “Buhl” target sits off to the rover’s right and represents another example of the Blunts Point member for ChemCam to sample. Mastcam will then image two large blocks dubbed “Kabetogama” to learn more about the intricate layering of the Blunts Point member. Before drilling, Curiosity will also give the sky some attention. Images and movies acquired in the early morning will measure dust and look for clouds, while images and movies at mid-day will measure dust and look for dust devils. REMS and RAD will gather data regularly as the weekend progresses…. [More at link]

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