Curiosity Mastcam Left image taken on Sol 1631, March 8, 2017.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS


Now performing Sol 1634 duties, NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover wheeled roughly 95 feet (29 meters) to the south on Sol 1632.

The robot is in good position for weekend tasks, reports Ken Herkenhoff of the USGS Astrogeology Science Center in Flagstaff, Arizona.

Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) calibration testing. Image taken on March 9, 2017, Sol 1632.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

Dust cover issues resolved

The Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) images taken on Sol 1632 looked good, Herkenhoff adds, “and the dust cover is working properly, so MAHLI is ready to return to nominal operations!”

Contact science targets in front of the rover show interesting color variations.

This bedrock is too close to the rover to allow Chemistry & Camera (ChemCam) data to be safely acquired, so a nearby exposure was selected for an analogous measurement and named “Hurricane Mountain.”

Curiosity Navcam Left B image taken on Sol 1632, March 10, 2017.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Bedrock target

A ChemCam observation was planned of a nearly-vertical layered bedrock target that is tagged “Hardwood Mountain.”

Curiosity’s Right Mastcam is slated to image selected targets and take a 4×3 mosaic of another bedrock block dubbed “Rocky Mountain.”

Also on tap, the robot’s Mastcam was to acquire a multispectral set of images of “North Haven,” a collection of pebbles near Hurricane Mountain, and survey the sky in the afternoon.

Curiosity Navcam Right B image taken on Sol 1632, March 9, 2017.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Canada Falls

In the weekend plan, MAHLI is scheduled to take five images of “Canada Falls” from various distances before the Alpha Particle X-Ray Spectrometer (APXS) is to be placed on the first of three closely-spaced Canada Falls targets.





“After sunset, APXS data will be gathered on all three spots, using the arm to reposition the instrument between integrations,” Herkenhoff notes.

Then the plan for early Sol 1635 is for the rover’s Navcam to search for clouds and the robot’s Mastcam will measure the dust in the atmosphere.

This image was taken by ChemCam: Remote Micro-Imager photo taken on Sol 1633, March 10, 2017.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/LANL






Drill diagnostic tests

“Later in the day, more drill diagnostic tests are planned, followed by another set of Mastcam dust observations,” Herkenhoff explains.

“Then the rover will drive toward the nearby dune and acquire data that will be used to select a target for the next drive,” Herkenhoff concludes, “which will hopefully position the rover well for contact science on the dune sand.”





Travel map

Meanwhile, a new Curiosity traverse map through Sol 1632 has been issued.

The base image from the map is from the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment Camera (HiRISE) in NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.
Credit: NASA/JPL-CalTech/Univ. of Arizona

This map shows the route driven by NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity through the 1632 Martian day, or sol, of the rover’s mission on Mars as of March 10, 2017.

From Sol 1630 to Sol 1632, Curiosity has driven a straight line distance of about 87.96 feet (26.81 meters).

Since landing on Mars in August 2012, Curiosity’s total odometry for the mission is 9.77 miles (15.73 kilometers).

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