Sols 903-904: A Bumping Day on Mars

18 February 2015

Potential drill target

 Curiosity is in search of the next drill target, and the main activity in today’s plan is to “bump” closer to a rock outcrop for contact science.  Curiosity will perform a short drive, which will set us up to use the instruments on the rover’s arm to assess the potential for drilling here.  The plan also includes several ChemCam and Mastcam observations of the targets “Emery” and “Elbert” to characterize the outcrop and a nearby vein.  We will also acquire a Mastcam mosaic of the outcrop named “Newspaper Rock” to understand the local stratigraphy.  After the drive Curiosity will acquire Navcam images for future targeting, and a Mastcam image for a systematic clast survey.  The second sol of this plan is untargeted, so Curiosity will monitor the atmosphere with Navcam and Mastcam, and perform some ChemCam calibration activities.  I’m on MER duty today, and Opportunity is also “bumping” to a location overlooking Marathon Valley. Another busy day on Mars!

By Lauren Edgar

--Lauren is a Research Geologist at the USGS Astrogeology Science Center and a member of MSL science team.

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.