Curiosity Front Hazcam Right B image taken on Sol 1552, December 17, 2016.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

 

NASA’s Curiosity rover on the Red Planet is now in Sol 1553, with the robot’s engineering team still at work diagnosing drill issues.

“But in the meantime we are still getting good science done,” adds Ryan Anderson, a planetary scientist at the USGS Astrogeology Science Center in Flagstaff, Arizona.

Target shooting

A Sol 1552 plan was scripted, starting off with Chemistry and Camera (ChemCam) observations of the targets “Hall Quarry” and “Long Porcupine.”

Curiosity Navcam Left B image taken on Sol 1552, December 17, 2016.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

The robot’s Mastcam is slated to document those targets and then do a multispectral observation of “Western Head,” Anderson says.

The rover’s Mastcam is also to image the rover deck and Curiosity’s Navcam is slated to watch for dust devils.

Drive on tap

“There will also be some drill diagnostics on Sol 1552,” Anderson points out. “After sitting in the same spot for so long, it will be nice on Sol 1553 when we retract the arm and drive to an interesting area about 10 meters [33 feet] away.”


Curiosity Mastcam Right image taken on Sol 1550, December 15, 2016.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

After the drive the plan calls for post-drive imaging and a taking a Mars Descent Imager (MARDI) image of the ground under the rover.

 

 

Sol 1554 is an untargeted sol, with Navcam and Mastcam atmospheric observations, Anderson concludes.

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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