u/paulhammond5155, Top Contributor
11 hours ago
Update for Sols 3076-3077: Dancing Around ‘Mont Mercou’ (details & links in the comments)
paulhammond5155, Top Contributor
11 hours ago
Curiosity Rover Mission Update for Sols 3076-3077:
Dancing Around ‘Mont Mercou’
Written by Mark Salvatore, Planetary Geologist at University of Michigan
March 31, 2021.
Curiosity is continuing her investigation of “Mont Mercou,” the tall outcrop of bedded sedimentary rock seen in the attached image. The science team has been navigating around the base of the cliff after having successfully drilled into the “Nontron” bedrock target last week. By imaging the cliff at different viewing geometries, we are able to change both position and illumination conditions, helping us to fully map the observed structures and properties of these sedimentary rocks.
In this plan, the team has identified a nodular bedrock target to characterize using the APXS instrument on the rover’s arm, which will provide information about the chemical make-up of this bedrock material. Curiosity will also be acquiring many images using both the ChemCam and Mastcam instruments, as we are now on the eastern side of the cliff face. Following these observations, Curiosity will then navigate to the western side of the cliff face to perform a similar suite of imaging observations.
As has been mentioned in previous posts, these sorts of rock outcrops, where we can see bedding from multiple angles, are a treasure for geologists as we try to unravel the ancient environmental conditions that were once present in Gale crater. The team is cognizant of the value of this outcrop, and so we are making sure to acquire all of the observations that we need before driving away from this location.
“Mont Mercou” as seen by the Left Navigation Camera onboard NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity on Sol 3074. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech.
These blog updates are provided by self-selected Mars Science Laboratory mission team members who love to share what Curiosity is doing with the public.
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.
Full update: mars.nasa.gov/msl/mission-updates/8902/sols-3076-3077-dancing-around-mont-mercou/
Recent drive details (uncalibrated):-
Sol: 3074 (March 31. 2021 – not yet available)
Sol: 3072 (March 29, 2021)
Distance (point-to-point): ~4 meters ~13 feet)
Landing Elevation: -4500.998 meters
Drive Start Elevation: -4072.909 meters
Drive Finish Elevation: -4072.393 meters
Elevation change 0.52 meters (9 feet)
Pointing (yaw): 22.22° (0° = North)
Planetocentric longitude: 137.41253°
Planetocentric latitude: -4.73545°
Site Index: 87
Drive index: 834
Total distance: 24.89 km (15.47 miles)
Total climb: 428.6 meters (1,406 feet)
Map Quadrangle: Nontron
Target names (theme): French places.
Map credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UofA/USGS & F.Nogal
Kindly report any broken links in the comments below