Curiosity Mastcam Left image taken on Sol 1473, September 27, 2016. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

Curiosity Mastcam Left image taken on Sol 1473, September 27, 2016.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

 

NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover is busily at work, carrying out Sol 1475 duties.

“The science team had a lot of good ideas for new observations, so it was a challenge to fit them all into the plan, but in the end all went well,” reports Ken Herkenhoff of the USGS Astrogeology Science Center in Flagstaff, Arizona.

Brush spot

Curiosity Navcam Left B image taken on Sol 1474, September 28, 2016. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Curiosity Navcam Left B image taken on Sol 1474, September 28, 2016.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

On Sol 1475, the rover’s robotic arm is to be moved out of the way to allow Chemistry and Camera (ChemCam) and Mastcam multispectral observations of the “Jwaneng” brush spot and an outcrop target named “Munhango.”

The Right Mastcam is slated to acquire mosaics of targets dubbed “Luremo,” “Nata,” and “Maun” before the rover drives away, Herkenhoff adds.

Auto-software

“In addition to the usual post-drive imaging, ChemCam will autonomously acquire chemical data on a target selected by the AEGIS software,” Herkenhoff notes.  AEGIS software stands for Autonomous Exploration for Gathering Increased Science.

NASA’s Mars rover 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 September 28, 2016, Sol 1474. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

NASA’s Mars rover 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 September 28, 2016, Sol 1474.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

Furthermore, the rover’s Chemistry & Mineralogy X-Ray Diffraction/X-Ray Fluorescence Instrument (CheMin) is set to analyze the latest drill sample overnight.

Clouds, dust, sky observations

While the new data are being read out the next morning, Mastcam will measure the dust in the atmosphere. Additionally, Navcam will search for clouds, and ChemCam will acquire passive spectra of the sky.

This map shows the route driven by NASA's Mars rover Curiosity through the 1471 Martian day, or sol, of the rover’s mission on Mars. Numbering of the dots along the line indicate the sol number of each drive. North is up. From Sol 1469 to Sol 1471, Curiosity had driven a straight line distance of about 141.77 feet (43.21 meters). Since touching down on Mars in August 2012, Curiosity has driven 8.91 miles (14.34 kilometers). 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 1471 Martian day, or sol, of the rover’s mission on Mars.
Enlarge to view dot numbers indicating the sol number of each drive. North is up.
From Sol 1469 to Sol 1471, Curiosity had driven a straight line distance of about 141.77 feet (43.21 meters).
Since touching down on Mars in August 2012, Curiosity has driven 8.91 miles (14.34 kilometers).
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

“These atmospheric observations will be repeated at noon to look for short-term changes,” Herkenhoff explains. “Finally, the rover will get some sleep in preparation for what will likely be a busy weekend.”

As always, dates of planned rover activities are subject to change due to a variety of factors related to the Martian environment, communication relays and rover status.

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