Sol 1355-1357: Coordinating with MRO

27 May 2016 Murray formation under the rover's wheels.

Our drive went well and Curiosity is now sitting on a nice patch of the Murray formation, putting us in a good position for a very busy holiday weekend! On Sol 1355, ChemCam has observations of the targets “Auchas”, “Kaisosi”, “Inamagando”, and “Horingbaai”. Mastcam will document those targets and then do some multispectral observations of the targets “Kunjas” and “Navachab”, plus a mosaic of the contact between the Murray and Stimson units. Navcam will round out the science block with some atmospheric observations.

Sol 1356 was an unusual one, with a bunch of small science blocks spread throughout the day. These were to enable a series of measurements leading up to a coordinated set of observations in the afternoon between the instruments on the rover on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. (Yes, this means a new HiRISE image of Curiosity is coming soon!)

First thing in the morning on Sol 1356, Mastcam and Navcam have a photometry observation. This is repeated a few hours later along with a multispectral Mastcam observation of the target “Inamagando”. A few hours later, the photometry observation is repeated again (the idea is to see how the brightness changes as the sun angle changes) and ChemCam has a passive sky observation. Finally, there is another photometry observation, a Mastcam “sky survey” observation, and Mastcam “sky flats”. These are followed by a long-distance ChemCam RMI image that I managed to squeeze into the plan. I am hoping that the similar time of day (and therefore similar lighting) will make it easier to compare the HiRISE and RMI images. After the RMI, Sol 1356 will wrap up with one final photometry observation.

On Sol 1357 we will drive again, followed by standard post-drive imaging. This plan will take us through the long weekend, so our next planning day will be on Tuesday.

by Ryan Anderson

-Ryan is a planetary scientist at the USGS Astrogeology Science Center and a member of the ChemCam team on MSL.

Dates of planned rover activities described in these reports are subject to change due to a variety of factors related to the martian environment, communication relays and rover status