Sols 1266-1268: Taking Stock of Stockdale26 February 2016
Today’s plan has a nice mix of science and driving. The rover will start off on Sol 1266 with ChemCam observations of the targets “Ugab”, “Rooibank” and “Stockdale”. We will zap the Rooibank target using two different laser energies to see if that helps us figure out the amount of hydrogen in the target. Afterwards, Mastcam has some documentation images of the ChemCam targets, and then we will do some contact science: MAHLI will take some images of “Waterburg”, then the DRT will brush the dust off of “Stockdale” and MAHLI will take some pictures of that target too. After the DRT, Mastcam will observe the Stockdale target with all of its science filters, and APXS will then do an overnight observation on the brushed location.
On Sol 1267, Mastcam has a big mosaic of the edge of the Naukluft plateau, which will give us a nice view of the geology there and help us decide what to do as we get closer. After that, the rover will continue driving toward the plateau and do the usual post-drive imaging, plus some additional Mastcam off to the right hand side of the rover.
On Sol 1268, we have a bunch of untargeted observations. ChemCam has a passive sky observation, and Mastcam will observe its calibration targets so the filter observations of Stockdale can be calibrated. Mastcam also has tau observations at two different times. To wrap up the plan, Navcam will do its usual atmospheric monitoring observations.
-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.