Curiosity Navcam Left B image taken on Sol 1258 on February 19, 2016. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Curiosity Navcam Left B image taken on Sol 1258 on February 19, 2016.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover is now in Sol 1260.

Reports Ryan Anderson, a planetary scientist at the USGS Astrogeology Science Center and a member of the ChemCam team on the Mars Science Laboratory: “The rover is fine, gradually working its way around the north end of a large dune.”

A few days ago, on Sol 1256, rover work included taking long distance Chemistry & Camera (ChemCam) telescopic remote micro-imager (RMI) images of a location on Mt. Sharp. That was followed on the next Sol by Curiosity’s Navcam making atmospheric observations to look for clouds and measure wind direction above the robot.

In the second science block on Sol 1258, ChemCam repeated the passive sky observation, and Mastcam repeated the observation of the crater rim and the Sun. “These Mastcam observations were repeated one more time later in the day to see whether the amount of dust changes with time of day,” Anderson adds.

Weekend tasks

The over the weekend plan for the rover was performing contact science duties.

Curiosity Front Hazcam Right B image taken on Sol 1259, February 20, 2016. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Curiosity Front Hazcam Right B image taken on Sol 1259, February 20, 2016.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Slated were Sol 1259 ChemCam observations of the targets “Gross Aub”, “Groot Aub”, “Gorob”, and “Grosskopf.” A later in the day move was brushing the dust off of the target “Gorob”, with MAHLI images to be taken before and after.

The Alpha Particle X-Ray Spectrometer (APXS) was to measure the composition of “Groot Aub” and then do an overnight measurement of “Gorob”.

Driving on tap

On Sol 1260, the plan called for driving Curiosity a few meters, then snag pictures of the rover’s wheels with its Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI). That was to be followed by driving the robot for another hour or so, followed by post-drive imaging.

Curiosity MAHLI image of target that received the brush off, taken on February 20, 2016, Sol 1259. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

Curiosity MAHLI image of target that received the brush off, taken on February 20, 2016, Sol 1259.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

 

 

Finally, on Sol 1261, ChemCam will do some calibration target observations, and Navcam has a few more atmospheric observations, Anderson concludes.

Planned rover activities are subject to change due to a variety of factors related to the Martian environment, communication relays and rover status.

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