Curiosity update: Cruising the clay-bearing unit

NLA_602664267EDR_F0732958NCAM00271M_-br2Sols 2313-14, February 6, 2019, update by MSL scientist Scott Guzewich: Curiosity is cruising through the clay-bearing unit on some compacted clast-rich soil, seen in this capture from Navcam. It’s some of the best driving terrain we’ve encountered in Gale Crater, with just some occasional sandy patches in the lee of small ridges. Our route will take us northward along the east and south flank of the Vera Rubin Ridge toward our anticipated first drilling stop in the clay-bearing unit. Along the way, we’re stopping regularly for “touch-and-go” contact science, including in today’s plan. Given the lack of even modest size rocks or bedrock outcrops nearby, we targeted a small soil patch termed “Alba.” We also will use ChemCam and Mastcam to interrogate the area around Alba, in addition to some geologic targets both near and far… [More at link]

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