Curiosity Navcam Left B image acquired on Sol 2449, June 27, 2019.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

 

NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover is now performing Sol 2450 science duties.

“We are continuing our exploration of Glen Torridon (the clay-bearing unit) and the varied lithologies exposed in this area of Gale crater, including more rubbly bedrock that is mixed with sand, and more coherent bedrock exposed both in the ground and capping prominent ridges,” reports Lucy Thompson, a planetary geologist at the University of New Brunswick, Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada.

Curiosity Navcam Right B photo taken on Sol 2449, June 27, 2019.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Curiosity has continued the drive away from one of these ridges, Teal Ridge, towards another low-lying lip and ridge of exposed bedrock that Mars researchers refer to as “Harlaw.”

Curiosity Front Hazcam Left B image taken on Sol 2449, June 27, 2019.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Perfect position

A recent drive by the robot put the Mars machinery about 30 feet (9 meters) away from Harlaw and in a “perfect position” to get some context Mastcam mosaics of the area that will help scientists interpret the results of our planned closeup investigation of this area, Thompson notes.

Curiosity Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) photo acquired on Sol 2449, June 27, 2019.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

 

Before a planned drive towards Harlaw, “we will examine the rubbly ground immediately in front of the rover,” Thompson adds, using the Alpha Particle X-Ray Spectrometer (APXS), the Mars Hand Lens Imager, Chemistry and Camera (ChemCam) and rover’s Mastcam.

Curiosity Navcam Left B image taken on Sol 2449, June 27, 2019.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Rubbly bedrock

“We will get a short morning APXS integration, closeup MAHLI images and ChemCam on a target “Tolsta,” ChemCam only on a target ‘Yell Sound’ and accompanying Mastcam imaging of the workspace to continue monitoring the composition and texture of the rubbly bedrock as we traverse the Glen Torridon region,” Thompson reports.

Curiosity Navcam Right B photo taken on Sol 2449, June 27, 2019.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Environmental observations by Curiosity included standard background Rover Environmental Monitoring Station (REMS) activities to monitor the daily martian weather, the Radiation Assessment Detector (RAD) to monitor the radiation environment and Dynamic Albedo of Neutrons (DAN) passive to study the abundance and distribution of subsurface hydrogen- and water-bearing materials.

Curiosity ChemCam Remote Micro-Imager photo taken on Sol 2449, June 27, 2019.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/LANL

Optical depth

A Navcam dust devil survey and suprahorizon movie are also planned. The suprahorizon movie will look for clouds and the optical depth of the atmosphere.

As well as monitoring activities, as the APXS strategic planner for this week, Thompson helped select the Tolsta target and prepared a weekly instrument update for the science team.

Curiosity Navcam Right B photo acquired on Sol 2449, June 27, 2019.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

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