Curiosity Mastcam Right image taken on Sol 1441, August 25, 2016. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

Curiosity Mastcam Right image taken on Sol 1441, August 25, 2016.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

Now in Sol 1444, the Curiosity Mars rover is to attempt a drive next week – failing to wheel forward last Wednesday due to an unanticipated flight software interaction, reports Lauren Edgar, a research geologist at the USGS Astrogeology Science Center in Flagstaff, Arizona.

Curiosity Front Hazcam Right B image taken on Sol 1441, August 25, 2016. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Curiosity Front Hazcam Right B image taken on Sol 1441, August 25, 2016.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Weekend plan

Now carrying out a weekend plan, the robot is slated to focus on Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) Instrument Suite activities. A SAM pre-conditioning activity to prepare the sample cup prior to delivery of the Marimba2 drill sample is to be completed.

Also on the schedule is acquiring a Chemistry & Camera (ChemCam) observation of the target “Viana 2” to assess the chemistry of the local bedrock and nodules.

Curiosity ChemCam Remote Micro-Imager image taken on Sol 1443, August 27, 2016. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/LANL

Curiosity ChemCam Remote Micro-Imager image taken on Sol 1443, August 27, 2016.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/LANL

Ridges and possible channel features

“Then we’ll take a Mastcam mosaic to document several light-toned ridges and possible channel features, followed by several environmental monitoring activities,” Edgar notes. “In the afternoon we’ll drop off the Marimba2 sample to SAM, and the evolved gas analysis will occur overnight.”

 

 

 

Other weekend tasks includes ChemCam observations of “Ganda” and “Catabola,” followed by use of the rover’s Dust Removal Tool (DRT) and carrying out contact science on “Ganda,” and use of the Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) and another short Alpha Particle X-Ray Spectrometer (APXS) integration on the target “Andulo.”

Curiosity Mastcam Right image taken on Sol 1441, August 25, 2016. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

Curiosity Mastcam Right image taken on Sol 1441, August 25, 2016.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

Complex plan

“This is a very power heavy and complex plan…a busy weekend,” Edgar concludes.

The last planned Sol is to be relatively light, with a ChemCam passive and Mastcam multispectral observation on “Ganda,” and additional ChemCam laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) looks at target “Calonda,” and some Mastcam deck monitoring.

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