Curiosity update: Voyageurs

NRB_584639877EDR_F0712876NCAM07753M_-br2Sol 2109, July 12, 2018, update by MSL scientist Abigail Fraeman: I first became involved with Curiosity shortly after starting my third year of graduate school in the fall of 2011. My graduate advisor was selected to join the mission as a Participating Scientist, and he enlisted me to help analyze orbital data over Mt. Sharp as part of that role. In particular, I was tasked to examine data from the Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars (CRISM) to see what minerals Curiosity might find when she landed and, importantly, where exactly she should drive to visit the best exposures.

One of the most the significant things I found was the signature of the mineral hematite (Fe2O3) associated with the feature we now call Vera Rubin Ridge. Many collaborators and I spent the winter and spring of 2012 — the time between launch and landing — working out the geological implications of this discovery as best we could using orbital data, and beginning to ponder the specific observations Curiosity should make when she reached the ridge…. [More at link]

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