Curiosity Mastcam Left image taken on Sol 1264, February 25, 2016. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

Curiosity Mastcam Left image taken on Sol 1264, February 25, 2016.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

 

The weekend warrior, NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover, is now carrying out Sol 1266 duties – a plan that “has a nice mix of science and driving,” reports Ryan Anderson, a planetary scientist at the USGS Astrogeology Science Center in Flagstaff Arizona.

The rover is slated to have started off on Sol 1266 with Chemistry & Camera (ChemCam) observations of the targets “Ugab”, “Rooibank” and “Stockdale.”

Zapping tasks

“We will zap the Rooibank target using two different laser energies to see if that helps us figure out the amount of hydrogen in the target. Afterwards, Mastcam has some documentation images of the ChemCam targets, and then we will do some contact science,” Anderson adds.

Curiosity Navcam Left B image taken on Sol 1265 February 26, 2016. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Curiosity Navcam Left B image taken on Sol 1265 February 26, 2016.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Also on tap is use of the Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) to take some images of “Waterburg”, then the Dust Removal Tool (DRT) is to brush the dust off of “Stockdale” and MAHLI will take some pictures of that target too.

Anderson explains that, after the DRT, Mastcam will observe the Stockdale target with all of its science filters, and the Alpha Particle X-Ray Spectrometer (APXS) is scheduled to do an overnight observation on the brushed location.

Mars mosaic

On Sol 1267, the plan calls for the Mastcam to take a big mosaic of the edge of the Naukluft plateau, “which will give us a nice view of the geology there and help us decide what to do as we get closer,” Anderson notes. “After that, the rover will continue driving toward the plateau and do the usual post-drive imaging, plus some additional Mastcam [picture taking] off to the right hand side of the rover.”

Curiosity Mastcam Left Sol 1264 February 25, 2016. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

Curiosity Mastcam Left Sol 1264 February 25, 2016.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

Next day, Sol 1268, the rover is to make untargeted observations. ChemCam has a passive sky observation, and Mastcam will observe its calibration targets so the filter observations of Stockdale can be calibrated, Anderson advises. To wrap up the plan, Navcam will do its usual atmospheric monitoring observations, he concludes.

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Rover activities over the next several Sols are subject to change due to a variety of factors related to the Martian environment, communication relays and rover status.

This map shows the route driven by NASA's Mars rover Curiosity through the 1260 Martian day, or sol, of the rover's mission on Mars (February, 22, 2016). Numbering of the dots along the line indicate the sol number of each drive. North is up. The scale bar is 1 kilometer (~0.62 mile). From Sol 1256 to Sol 1260, Curiosity had driven a straight line distance of about 22.14 feet (6.75 meters). The base image from the map is from the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment Camera (HiRISE) in NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona

This map shows the route driven by NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity through the 1260 Martian day, or sol, of the rover’s mission on Mars as of February, 22, 2016. Numbering of the dots along the line indicate the sol number of each drive. North is up. The scale bar is 1 kilometer (roughly 0.62 mile). From Sol 1256 to Sol 1260, Curiosity had driven a straight line distance of about 22.14 feet (6.75 meters).The base image from the map is from the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment Camera (HiRISE) in NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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