Sol 38 update on Curiosity from USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: Glenelg Ahead14 September 2012
With the successful execution of the last of the MSL arm checkout activities, the characterization phase is complete! Many first-time activities still lie ahead (like drilling, scooping, and delivering samples to the mineralogy and organic chemistry instruments), but the major capabilities of the rover have been demonstrated. So after spending over a week in the same place to complete the characterization, the Sol 38 plan included a 32-meter drive toward the east. The near-term goal is "Glenelg," still a few hundred meters away few hundred meters away. Images taken from orbit show that Glenelg is at the junction of 3 different terrain types, the brightest of which may be ancient lakebed sediments. It will take several sols to get to Glenelg, and we are hoping that the driving goes well.