Curiosity Mastcam Left image taken on Sol 1591, January 27, 2017.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

Now in Sol 1593, NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover is set to carry out an agenda of science duties.

The Red Planet robot drove 26 feet (8 meters) on Sol 1591, with this weekend’s plan calling for additional driving.

Curiosity has carried out a wheel inspection, images that show damage given the one-ton rover’s rolling over Martian rocks since landing.

Curiosity Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) photo acquired on Sol 1591, January 26, 2017.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

Three sol plan

The three-sol plan — 1593-1595 — starts with a few data management activities for Mastcam and the robot’s Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI), and a recovery sequence to restart the Chemistry & Camera (ChemCam) after it was marked “sick,” reports Lauren Edgar, a research geologist at the USGS Astrogeology Science Center in Flagstaff, Arizona.

Curiosity Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) photo acquired on Sol 1591, January 26, 2017.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

Also on tap is taking Mastcam mosaics of “Dead River” and “Boil Mountain” to investigate laminations within the Murray formation and provide some context imaging of the “Misery” outcrop.

Edgar reports that this duty will be followed by use of MAHLI and the Alpha Particle X-Ray Spectrometer (APXS) to study “Misery” and “Dead River,” with an overnight APXS integration on “Misery.”


Curiosity Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) photo acquired on Sol 1591, January 26, 2017.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

Atmospheric opacity

On the second sol, Curiosity is to wake up early for some environmental monitoring observations, including some Navcam movies and Mastcam imaging to assess atmospheric opacity, Edgar adds.

The plan calls for another Mastcam mosaic of “Ireson Hill” to document the stratigraphy with long baseline stereo imaging.

Curiosity Navcam Left B image taken on Sol 1591, January 26, 2017.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Contact science

The third sol includes additional environmental monitoring, a drive, post-drive imaging for targeting, and preparing for more contact science.

Edgar says that Curiosity will also perform a Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) Instrument Suite evolved gas experiment to use the residual derivatization vapor in the sample manipulation system.

Curiosity Navcam Left B image taken on Sol 1591, January 27, 2017.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Since landing in August 2012, through Sol 1591, Curiosity has driven 9.53 miles (15.34 kilometers).

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