Curiosity Mast Camera Left image taken on Sol 2698, March 9, 2020.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

 

NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover is now performing Sol 2699 duties.

Sean Czarnecki, a planetary geologist at Arizona State University in Tempe reports that after Curiosity’s strenuous climb onto the pediment-capping unit last week, the robot is busy carrying out science tasks.

Curiosity Mast Camera Left image taken on Sol 2698, March 9, 2020.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

Curiosity’s Chemistry and Camera (ChemCam) will take rasters of “Machir Bay,” “New Aberdour,” and “An Carnach” to assess the chemical variability of the bedrock there.

Curiosity Mast Camera Left image taken on Sol 2698, March 9, 2020.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

Also planned is taking pre-Dust Removal Tool (DRT) images using the Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) of Machir Bay and “Forsinard Flows,” break out the DRT to dust off these targets, take post-DRT MAHLI images, and measure the bulk chemistry of these targets with the rover’s Alpha Particle X-Ray Spectrometer (APXS).

 

 

 

Mastcam is also taking images of this bedrock to study the fine-scale details.

Curiosity Mast Camera Left image taken on Sol 2698, March 9, 2020.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

Gazing into the distance

“We will spend some time gazing into the distance,” Czarnecki notes. “What a view we have from all the way up here on the pediment-capping unit!”

Curiosity Left B Navigation Camera photo acquired on Sol 2698, March 9, 2020.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Curiosity’s Mastcam will take advantage of the rover’s location to image nearby “Tower Butte” in order to examine surface textures. Then Navcam will look to the horizon for dust devils and to the sky for clouds.

Curiosity Left B Navigation Camera photo acquired on Sol 2698, March 9, 2020.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

In the background, Dynamic Albedo of Neutrons (DAN), will be measuring the neutron flux from the subsurface to assess the pediment-capping unit’s hydration and the Radiation Assessment Detector (RAD) and Rover Environmental Monitoring Station (REMS) will continue to measure the radiation and atmospheric environments, respectively, at yet another record elevation for Curiosity.

Curiosity Left B Navigation Camera photo acquired on Sol 2698, March 9, 2020.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Curiosity Left B Navigation Camera photo acquired on Sol 2698, March 9, 2020.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Curiosity Mast Camera Right image taken on Sol 2697, March 8, 2020.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

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