Curiosity Navcam Left A image acquired on Sol 2265, December 20, 2018.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover is now performing Sol 2266 duties.

Curiosity Navcam Left A image acquired on Sol 2265, December 20, 2018.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Reports Lucy Thompson, a planetary geologist at the University of New Brunswick, Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada, there’s been extensive planning for the rover for the holidays.

Curiosity Navcam Left A image acquired on Sol 2265, December 20, 2018.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Planning has revolved around making sure that Curiosity has enough power after the Christmas holidays to be able to continue analyzing “Rock Hall,” the red Jura sample that was successfully drilled last weekend.

Uplinked plans

One martian day of science and diagnostic activities have been uplinked to the robot, Thompson adds, along with 10 sols of Rover Environmental Monitoring Station (REMS) observations through the end of December.

Also underway are Curiosity plans for Sols 2276 – 2278 to be executed on Mars before the team here on Earth returns to nominal planning activities.

“The priority was to facilitate diagnostic testing of the B-side computer to help assess the rover anomaly we experienced a few months ago,” Thompson points out. “The diagnostics require Curiosity to be awake for long periods of time, which drains her battery, and does not leave much power for other activities.”

Curiosity Navcam Right A image taken on Sol 2265, December 20, 2018.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Change detection imagery

While there had been tentative plans for some Chemistry and Camera (ChemCam)

Laser-induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS) and Remote Micro-Imager (RMI) observations of rock targets in the workspace, as well as some Mastcam and Navcam environmental activities, scientists were unable to fit them into the final plan.

Curiosity Mastcam Right image acquired on Sol 2264, December 19, 2018.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

“We were able to include some Mastcam change detection images of a couple of the sand-filled polygonal troughs in this area (“Luskentyre” and “Fishertown”), Thompson says, “to monitor how the wind moves sand around, as well as a Navcam deck pan to observe the rover deck.”

Curiosity Mastcam Left photo taken on Sol 2264, December 19, 2018.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

Standard Dynamic Albedo of Neutrons (DAN) passive and DAN active, Radiation Assessment Detector (RAD) and REMS activities round out the plan, Thompson concludes.

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