Curiosity Navcam Left B Sol 1158 November 9, 2015. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Curiosity Navcam Left B Sol 1158 November 9, 2015.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

 

Late last week, the rover wheeled 125 feet (38 meters) across the landscape to a new position.

According to Ken Herkenhoff of the USGS Astrogeology Science Center in Flagstaff, Arizona, the over the weekend plan calls for use of the Chemistry & Camera (ChemCam) instrument that looks at rocks and soils from a distance via a laser.

Curiosity ChemCam: Remote Micro-Image Curiosity on November 13, 2015, Sol 1162. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/LANL

Curiosity ChemCam: Remote Micro-Image Curiosity on November 13, 2015, Sol 1162.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/LANL

Curiosity’s ChemCam analyzes the elemental composition of vaporized materials from areas smaller than 1 millimeter on the surface of Martian rocks and soils.

ChemCam and Mastcam were slated to observe one of the Bagnold Dunes that is a near-term goal for detailed investigation, plus other more nearby targets called “Swakop” and “Zaris.”

 NASA's Mars rover Curiosity acquired this image using its Mars Hand Lens Imager of Spain’s Rover Environmental Monitoring Station (REMS) ultraviolet sensor. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS


NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity acquired this image using its Mars Hand Lens Imager of Spain’s Rover Environmental Monitoring Station (REMS) ultraviolet sensor.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

Software tool

Also slated was checkout of the Autonomous Exploration for Gathering Increased Science (AEGIS) software. That software tool that will help select targets for ChemCam and Mastcam. The checkout is followed by deployment of Curiosity’s robot arm.

The arm was deployed to take an image of Spain’s Rover Environmental Monitoring Station (REMS) ultraviolet sensor and a rock dubbed “Swartkloofberg.”

Then the Dust Removal Tool (DRT) will brush the dust off Swartkloofberg and the Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) will acquire mosaics of the brushed spot and of Swakop before the Alpha Particle X-Ray Spectrometer (APXS) is placed on the brushed spot for an overnight integration.

 

Damage watch - inspection of rover's wheels. Curiosity acquired this image using its Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI), located on the turret at the end of the rover's robotic arm, on November 8, 2015, Sol 1157. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

Damage watch – inspection of rover’s wheels. Curiosity acquired this image using its Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI), located on the turret at the end of the rover’s robotic arm, on November 8, 2015, Sol 1157.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

Next drive

On Sol 1165, the plan calls for the robotic arm to be stowed and the rover will drive farther south, again orienting the vehicle for REMS wind measurements.

After sunset, the Sample Analysis at Mars Instrument Suite (SAM) will clean its scrubbers – an engineering activity that has been performed twice before. Finally, the rover will go to sleep and recharge in preparation for the next sol’s activities, Herkenhoff reports.

This map shows the route driven by NASA's Mars rover Curiosity through the 1160 Martian day, or sol, of the rover's mission on Mars (November, 11, 2015). Numbering of the dots along the line indicate the sol number of each drive. North is up. From Sol 1158 to Sol 1160, Curiosity had driven a straight line distance of about 176.42 feet (53.77 meters). The base image from the map is from the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment Camera (HiRISE) in NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.   Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona

This map shows the route driven by NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity through the 1160 Martian day, or sol, of the rover’s mission on Mars (November, 11, 2015).
Numbering of the dots along the line indicate the sol number of each drive. North is up. From Sol 1158 to Sol 1160, Curiosity had driven a straight line distance of about 176.42 feet (53.77 meters).
The base image from the map is from the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment Camera (HiRISE) in NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona

 

Dates of planned rover activities detailed here are subject to change due to a variety of factors related to the Martian environment, communication relays and rover status.

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