Curiosity Navcam Left B image taken on Sol 1828, September 27, 2017.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

NASA’s Curiosity rover on Mars is now in Sol 1829.

“We have officially left the ‘Bar Harbor’ quadrangle and are now into the ‘Kuruman’ quadrangle,” reports Abigail Fraeman, a planetary geologist at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.

Fraeman notes that during the first full sol in the Kuruman quad, the rover will be doing a touch-and-go.

Erosion-resistant outcrop

The robot is slated to investigate the target “Enon” with its Alpha Particle X-Ray Spectrometer (APXS) and the Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI), the Chemistry and Camera (ChemCam) and use its Mastcam.

“We are also currently sitting in front of an erosion-resistant outcrop, ‘Mt. Hamden,’ which is providing us with a nice vertical exposure that we will image with Mastcam left and right eyes,” Fraeman says.

Curiosity Front Hazcam Left B image acquired on Sol 1828, September 27, 2017.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Finally, another Mastcam image of target “Noisy” will be taken before the robot drives off to the northeast.

The day will end with some environmental science monitoring observations including a Mastcam tau measurement to assess the dust content of the atmosphere, and some Navcam images looking towards the sky and crater rim, Fraeman says.

Iron formation

Regarding the Kuruman quadrangle, Fraeman notes it is named after a charming town situated on the edge of the Kalahari desert in South Africa. Notably, the town of Kuruman is the namesake for the Kuruman Iron Formation, an ~2.46 billion year sedimentary rock that is rich in hematite.

Curiosity Navcam Right B photo taken on Sol 1828, September 27, 2017.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

 

“Hematite is the same mineral we can see is distributed throughout the Vera Rubin Ridge from orbital data! The target names we will use while in this quadrangle are pulled from famous geological features from South Africa and nearby Botswana and Zimbabwe,” Fraeman concludes.

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