Curiosity Front Hazcam Left B image acquired on Sol 2494, August 12, 2019.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

 

NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover is now performing Sol 2495 duties.

Recent Curiosity planning began with a bit of a shuffle as scientists learned that the sample cup that was used for Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) Instrument Suite preconditioning over the weekend didn’t seal as well as desired, reports Vivian Sun, a planetary geologist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.

Curiosity Rear Hazcam Left B photo taken on Sol 2494, August 12, 2019.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

“This preconditioning step is required before we can perform SAM Evolved Gas Analysis (EGA) on the ‘Glen Etive’ drill sample,” Sun adds.

In response, Mars researchers decided to redo the SAM preconditioning activity using another cup, in addition to running another Chemistry & Mineralogy X-Ray Diffraction/X-Ray Fluorescence Instrument (CheMin) analysis.

Curiosity Mastcam Left image taken on Sol 2492, August 10, 2019.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

These changes freed up additional time for remote sensing observations in a recently scripted two sol plan for the rover.

Curiosity Navcam Right B photo acquired on Sol 2493, August 11, 2019.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

 

Retargeting drill hole

Also planned were a variety of Chemistry and Camera (ChemCam) observations, including a retargeting of the Glen Etive drill hole in order to better adjust the focus parameters of the instrument.

We identified a rock called ‘Scone’ with nicely exposed layers that we will sample with a vertical raster, and will also target another bedrock target called ‘Crannog,’ Sun explains.

Curiosity Mastcam Right photo acquired on Sol 2492, August 10, 2019.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

 

 

 

Long distance imaging

There was also time to take a long distance Remote Micro-Imager (RMI) mosaic of the sulfate unit to image sedimentary structures in these distant rocks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Supporting Mastcam documentation images were planned for each of these observations, as well as Navcam movies designed for determining cloud height,” Sun concludes. “If all goes well with the redo of the SAM preconditioning, we’ll be continuing along the drill sol path in no time!”

Curiosity ChemCam Remote Micro-Imager photo taken on Sol 2492, August 10, 2019.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/LANL

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