Curiosity Navcam Left B image taken on Sol 1439, August 23, 2016. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Curiosity Navcam Left B image taken on Sol 1439, August 23, 2016.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

The word from Curiosity Mars rover scientists is that the robot is making good progress through the Murray Buttes

Now in Sol 1441, the rover drove some 112 feet (34 meters) to the south on Sol 1439.

According to Lauren Edgar, a research geologist at the USGS Astrogeology Science Center in Flagstaff, Arizona, Curiosity planning for sols ahead include a routine pre-drive science block, drive, post-drive imaging for targeting, and an untargeted science block.

Curiosity Mastcam Left image taken on Sol 1439, August 23, 2016 Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

Curiosity Mastcam Left image taken on Sol 1439, August 23, 2016.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

The forward plan starts with Mastcam and Chemistry and Camera (ChemCam) observations of the targets “Viana,” “Ukuma,” and “Waku Kungo” to assess the composition and sedimentary structures in the local bedrock.

A large Mastcam mosaic is slated to document some of the buttes.

After an upcoming drive, Curiosity is to take post-drive imaging for targeting and context, as well as an autonomously selected ChemCam target using special software.

A second sol calls for atmospheric monitoring, including a ChemCam passive sky activity, and Navcam observations to search for dust devils and clouds.

“If we keep up this driving pace,” Edgar adds, “we could be looking for our next drill target as early as next Wednesday!”

 

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