Curiosity Left Navigation Camera Left B image acquired on Sol 2570, October 29, 2019.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

 

NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover is now engaged in Sol 2571 duties.

Reports Catherine O’Connell, Planetary Geologist at University of New Brunswick in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada: “Over last weekend, Curiosity drove around 131 feet (40 meters), bringing the robot closer to Central Butte, and ended up on a small patch of bedrock.

Curiosity Front Hazard Avoidance Camera Left B image taken on Sol 2571, October 30, 2019.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

“We are making a pit stop here, before driving another 66 feet (20 meters) closer to the Butte at the end of this plan, as we investigate contacts (i.e. boundaries) between what appear to be different units of bedrock here,” O’Connell explains.

Meanwhile, the Geology (GEO) theme group planned both contact science and remote imaging science.

Curiosity Chemistry & Camera (ChemCam) RMI photo taken on Sol 2571, October 30, 2019
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/LANL

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bedrock block

Curiosity’s Alpha Particle X-Ray Spectrometer (APXS) is doing a short “Touch and Go” measurement on the target “Ben Hope,” a small laminated bedrock block.

The rover’s Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) is set to image this target, and the Chemistry and Camera (ChemCam) instrument will use its laser to investigate this rock and another similar target “Taynish.”

Curiosity Left Navigation Camera Left B image acquired on Sol 2570, October 29, 2019.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Approaching the butte

“Remote science is a big part of our work as we approach the Butte,” O’Connell notes. “In addition to supporting contact science in our current workspace, Mastcam will take several images of the Butte, to help categorize the bedrock units and potential contacts between them. Mastcam will also take multispectral images, which can be extremely useful in identifying differences in rock types that the human eye might miss.”

Curiosity Left Navigation Camera Left B image acquired on Sol 2570, October 29, 2019.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

 

 

 

Overhead and radiation measurements

The Environmental Theme Group (ENV) is scheduled to look at the environmental conditions (clouds, atmospheric dust) in Gale and beyond.

Mastcam will take “full tau” and “crater rim” images, which allows the ENV group to quantify dust in the crater and overhead in the atmosphere.

“At the top of each and every hour and in a series of extended hour-long measurements, the Rover Environmental Monitoring System (REMS) acquires temperature, pressure, humidity, and UV radiation measurements,” O’Connell adds.

Curiosity Front Hazard Avoidance Camera Left B image taken on Sol 2571, October 30, 2019.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

DAN (Dynamic Albedo of Neutrons) continues its search for subsurface hydrogen, with frequent passive (utilizing cosmic rays as a source of neutrons to measure hydrogen) and post-drive active (actively shooting neutrons from the rover) measurements.

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