Martian Tapas With a View – NASA Mars Exploration

Image shows right Navcam image of MSL's sol 3924 Mars workspace including boulder targets Mytikas, Helmos, and Epidaurus.

Proper Navcam picture of our workspace together with boulder targets Mytikas, Helmos, and Epidaurus. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech. Obtain picture ›

Earth planning date: Monday, August 21, 2023

Whereas Southern California was hunkering down throughout a uncommon hurricane-ish climate occasion, our contrasting dry and chilly rover was working by way of the weekend plan we despatched up final Friday. And in contrast to final Friday, all actions (together with the ever-elusive Gediz Vallis ridge ~2 meter climb!) executed efficiently and put us proper in entrance of an array of ridge rocks for us to “snack” on for just a few sols. We’re about 50 meters from the highest of the ridge, and this location would be the final cease on our higher Gediz Vallis ridge (uGVr) detour. There’s presently no future plan to get this near uGVr geology once more, so ensuring we get the information we’d like right here trumps driving away. Due to this fact, we’re skipping our typical drive-per-plan and staying right here till not less than Wednesday so we are able to slot in two contact science targets this plan and a bonus goal pre-drive in Wednesday’s plan. And since we took a Mastcam 360 panorama at Friday’s location, there’s a lot of good imagery to digest whereas our rover picks away on the topographical tapas on our plate (are you able to inform it’s lunchtime and I’m occurring trip to Barcelona subsequent week?)

The primary sol of this plan begins with a block of Distant Sensing Mast (RSM) instrument actions. Navcam will level the RSM on the horizon looking for mud devils and atmospheric adjustments, then Mastcam takes over and factors the RSM at our workspace to take ~65 stereo photos of the boulders earlier than any contact science occurs. ChemCam will level the RSM at a sharp and pitted boulder named “Epidaurus” (the boulder within the lower-half of this Mastcam picture), and Mastcam will preserve the RSM proper the place it’s to doc ChemCam’s LIBS effort. Then it’ll be time for the principle course: our arm actions. The arm will unstow for the primary time since sol 3921 and use our DRT to get the stratified boulder named “Mytikas” (the boulder within the right-lower-half of this Mastcam picture) as shiny as potential for APXS and MAHLI. Then MAHLI will take over the turret and take a full suite of photos – that’s 4 positions from 25cm, 5cm, and 1cm away – of the Mytikas DRT spot earlier than performing a flowery mosaic down the vertical face of Mytikas to doc its stratigraphy from 5cm away. Lastly, MAHLI will do one other full suite of a 3rd boulder named “Helmos” (the boulder within the lower-right facet of this Mastcam picture) earlier than APXS will get actually near “sniff” the Helmos and Mytikas targets for the rest of the night.

The second sol of this plan is much less hungry, together with simply two RSM blocks within the noon and night earlier than wrapping it up and ready for the directions we’ll determine on throughout Wednesday’s planning. These RSM blocks comprise a Mastcam multispectral stereo picture of the Mytikas DRT spot, a bigger mud satan survey from Navcam, and a second ChemCam LIBS on a boulder additional away named “Patmos.”

Earlier than I head off to lunch, I’d wish to share part of planning that’s been the custom right here at Malin House Science Programs. Usually on my running a blog days I command each the MAHLI and MARDI cameras, however MARDI is often solely commanded after we drive. Since there’s no drive (and no MARDI picture) this plan, it’s custom to write down a haiku as an alternative of our typical report. Right here’s the contents of our MARDI report at this time:

“No MARDI within the plan.

Three rocks in our view

So earlier than we are saying adieu

We should contact all of them.”


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *