Curiosity Front Hazcam Right image taken on October 8, 2015, Sol 1127. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Curiosity Front Hazcam Right image taken on October 8, 2015, Sol 1127.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

 

NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover is wrapping up Sol 1127 operations.

On the prior Sol, images show that the Alpha Particle X-Ray Spectrometer (APXS) was well centered over the pre-sieve dump pile of Martian material.

The APXS measures the abundance of chemical elements in rocks and soils.

This 2012 image shows the Alpha Particle X-Ray Spectrometer (APXS) in center onboard NASA’s Curiosity rover, with the Martian landscape in the background. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

This 2012 image shows the Alpha Particle X-Ray Spectrometer (APXS) in center onboard NASA’s Curiosity rover, with the Martian landscape in the background.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

 

APXS is placed in contact with rock and soil samples on Mars and exposes the material to alpha particles and X-rays emitted during the radioactive decay of the element curium.

The Sol 1127 activities of Curiosity also saw use of the Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) to inspect the wheels of the rover and to monitor damage caused by trekking over rough terrain.

NASA's Mars rover Curiosity acquired this image using its Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI), located on the turret at the end of the rover's robotic arm on October 8, 2015, Sol 1127. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity acquired this image using its Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI), located on the turret at the end of the rover’s robotic arm on October 8, 2015, Sol 1127.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

 

“After the wheel imaging, there’s just enough time for a short drive to another potential drill target and post-drive imaging,” explains Ken Herkenhoff of the USGS Astrogeology Science Center in Flagstaff, Arizona.

Dates of planned rover activities are subject to change due to a variety of factors related to the Martian environment, communication relays and rover status.

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