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The Top of Vera Rubin Ridge Part 2, Site 67-, sol 1944-, 24 Jan 2018-
PaulH51
post Jul 2 2018, 08:29 AM
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Another >30 meter drive on sol 2098 takes Curiosity rover East-southeast:
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Hang in there, Oppy!
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Steve G
post Jul 2 2018, 03:37 PM
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Have they abandoned plans to climb Mount Sharp? Based on the original timeline from when the mission landed, they're already about 4 years behind.
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MahFL
post Jul 2 2018, 04:52 PM
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QUOTE (Steve G @ Jul 2 2018, 03:37 PM) *
Have they abandoned plans to climb Mount Sharp? Based on the original timeline from when the mission landed, they're already about 4 years behind.



That was never really the plan, there is not much scientific reason to go up there.
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Phil Stooke
post Jul 2 2018, 05:00 PM
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Jan's panorama for sol 2095. I thought we would stop for drilling on this level, but it looks like sol 2098 took us up to the next level (though both are included in the same 'member' of the rocks making up the ridge)

Phil

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serpens
post Jul 2 2018, 10:32 PM
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I suspect that the plan is to try and drill one of the identified hematite rich areas of the ridge (if they can figure a way to compensate for the hardness) and then transit and characterize the trough on the way to have a good look at the channel. The aeolian sandstone in the upper kilometres of Mount Sharp wouldn't be of any interest.
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charborob
post Jul 3 2018, 10:33 AM
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Sol 2098 Lmastcam:
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jvandriel
post Jul 3 2018, 11:18 AM
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The Navcam L view on Sol 2098.

Jan van Driel

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MrNatural
post Jul 3 2018, 12:20 PM
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QUOTE (Steve G @ Jul 2 2018, 03:37 PM) *
Have they abandoned plans to climb Mount Sharp? Based on the original timeline from when the mission landed, they're already about 4 years behind.


Climbing Mt. Sharp was never the goal of the mission, but a primary goal was the "Clay Trough" (https://www.hou.usra.edu/meetings/lpsc2017/pdf/2531.pdf). MSL is about to reach the this unit so stay tuned; it should be very interesting.
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Steve G
post Jul 3 2018, 12:22 PM
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QUOTE (MahFL @ Jul 2 2018, 09:52 AM) *
That was never really the plan, there is not much scientific reason to go up there.


Here was the original traverse going up the mountain, so it was part of the original plan.
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djellison
post Jul 3 2018, 02:54 PM
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That's not 'climb the mountain'. That's 'get to the sulfates'

And that remains the long term goal.
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Phil Stooke
post Jul 3 2018, 03:46 PM
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"Here was the original traverse going up the mountain, so it was part of the original plan. "

That traverse is still what they want to do, though the exact path might vary. We are already well into that climb. It covers the lower slopes where the interesting geology is, and stops at the base of the upper mound. There is no expectation that Curiosity will climb higher up the mountain - it looks too rugged and is not expected to be of much geological interest. Any further exploration would remain in the lower part of the mountain.

Phil



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neo56
post Jul 3 2018, 03:53 PM
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Panorama taken on sol 2098 with MC34, with an extended sky:



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Phil Stooke
post Jul 3 2018, 08:42 PM
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Nice panoramas!

I think the dust devil track I noted earlier has been joined by others (unless it's a heffalump). This shows a sector of the northern view on five recent sols. On 2089 there were no obvious tracks. On 2092 one can be seen (white arrows). No change on sol 2094. Then on 2095 two new ones show up, and no change on 2098. These are the first tracks observed on the ground at Gale, I believe. It will be interesting to see if any tracks show up in HiRISE images when it can see the area again. There are no obvious tracks in any previous HiRISE images of Gale.

Phil

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Steve G
post Jul 3 2018, 11:46 PM
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QUOTE (Phil Stooke @ Jul 3 2018, 07:46 AM) *
"Here was the original traverse going up the mountain, so it was part of the original plan. "

That traverse is still what they want to do, though the exact path might vary. We are already well into that climb. It covers the lower slopes where the interesting geology is, and stops at the base of the upper mound. There is no expectation that Curiosity will climb higher up the mountain - it looks too rugged and is not expected to be of much geological interest. Any further exploration would remain in the lower part of the mountain.

Phil

Thanks. Climb the mountain was perhaps the wrong term. But, how is the current progress compared to the original schedule? I thought we'd be in the canyon area within the prime mission.
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Phil Stooke
post Jul 3 2018, 11:59 PM
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You're right, progress has been slow. The terrain is rough and there are just too many interesting targets. I would not characterize it 'they are going too slowly', but as 'they didn't anticipate how much there was to look at along the way'. This is an amazing place.

Phil


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