MISSION UPDATES | January 28, 2020

Sol 2658: Touch and Go

Written by Ken Herkenhoff, Planetary Geologist at USGS Astrogeology Science Center
Sol 2658: Touch and Go

The Sol 2657 drive went well, so we have new bedrock exposures to explore on Sol 2658. The goal for today is to get good chemical and remote sensing data in this location before proceeding uphill toward the south. A "touch-and-go" sol is planned, starting with a short APXS integration on a bedrock slab named "Marchmont." MAHLI will take some images of Marchmont, then the arm will be moved out of the way for ChemCam observations of Marchmont and "Inverness Shire," a darker block sitting on the bedrock surface. Right Mastcam will then take images of the ChemCam targets and "Whitelaw Moss," another slab of bedrock. Mastcam will also acquire a 13x3 stereo mosaic of the west side of Tower Butte to examine its sedimentary structures. After a 23-meter drive and the usual post-drive activities, ChemCam will use AEGIS to automatically select a bedrock target in the rover's new location. Finally, MARDI will take an image during twilight. The tactical planning team did a great job, which made for an easy day for me as SOWG Chair.