Curiosity Front Hazard Avoidance Camera Right B image taken on Sol 2667, February 6, 2020.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover is now performing Sol 2667 duties.

Curiosity Front Hazard Avoidance Camera Left B photo acquired on Sol 2666, February 5, 2020.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

“After seeing our initial contact science results and our successful pre-load test, the plan is to continue preparing to drill and get a sample from the Hutton target,” reports Ashley Stroupe, Mission Operations Engineer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Curiosity is continuing to do more contact science “on this fascinating workspace, including looking at “Traprain Law,” a place where our wheel scuffed the rock on an earlier drive,” Stroupe adds. “We also planned contact science on two other spots – “Moorfoot Hills” (a possible hollow nodule) and “Liberton Brae” (bedrock).”

Curiosity Mars Hand Lens Imager photo produced on Sol 2666, February 5, 2020.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

Interesting challenge

As a rover planner, Stroupe notes, the tall nature of these two targets, which are very close together, relative to the local surface made for an interesting challenge to determine how to put the Alpha Particle X-Ray Spectrometer (APXS) down safety on each of these spots.

Curiosity Mars Hand Lens Imager photo produced on Sol 2666, February 5, 2020.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

“We ended up touching between the two, to ensure we safely find the highest point, and then offset to get the desired APXS and [Mars Hand Lens Imager] (MAHLI) locations,” Stroupe points out.

Curiosity Mast Camera Right image taken on Sol 2665, February 4, 2020.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

Curiosity Mast Camera Right image taken on Sol 2665, February 4, 2020.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

Curiosity Mast Camera Right image taken on Sol 2665, February 4, 2020.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

“In conjunction with the contact science, Mars scientists did a lot of targeted remote sensing science as well, including Mastcam and Chemistry and Camera (ChemCam) imaging of Hutton and a nearby vein.

“We also have some of our standard environmental observations – a Mastcam full tau and crater rim extinction,” Stroupe explains.

 

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