Sol 969-970: Studying Mt. Shields27 April 2015
Our drive on sol 967 covered almost 90 meters, putting us in front of some interesting stratigraphy at "Mt. Shields", an outcrop along our drive down "Logan's Run". In the sol 969-970 plan, we have lots of Mastcam and ChemCam studying the outcrop. On sol 969, Mastcam has a 24x2 stereo mosaic and a 6x3 stereo mosaic of parts of Mt. Shields. Then, on sol 970, ChemCam has a bunch of standalone RMI “z-stacks” of targets “Flathead”, “Fern”, “Ginsight”, and “High_Park”. A z-stack is when we take a bunch of measurements at different focus positions. This allows us to merge multiple images to make sure the entire field of view is in focus. ChemCam also has a LIBS measurement of “Hungry_Horse”, which is accompanied by a Mastcam image of the same target. Finally, Mastcam will attempt to take some nighttime images of an eclipse of Mars’ moon Phobos, which can be used to infer how the amount of dust in the martian atmosphere varies with altitude.
-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.