Curiosity Navcam Left B camera image taken on November 25, 2015, Sol 1174. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Curiosity Navcam Left B camera image taken on November 25, 2015, Sol 1174.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

NASA’s Curiosity rover on Mars drove some 92 feet (28 meters) on Sol 1174 and is now parked in front of a beautiful sand sheet and sand dune!

That’s the word from Lauren Edgar, a research geologist at the USGS Astrogeology Science Center in Flagstaff, Arizona and a member of the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) research team.

Three sol plan

“Today science and engineering teams cooked up a full 3-Sol plan, to account for the second half of the Thanksgiving holiday weekend,” Edgar reports.

 

The Mars rover team, Edgar adds, started with equal parts Mastcam and ChemCam to analyze the sand and bedrock, and to monitor the movement of sand across the rover deck and in nearby ripples.

This image was taken by Curiosity’s Mastcam Right on November 24, 2015, Sol 1173. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

This image was taken by Curiosity’s Mastcam Right on November 24, 2015, Sol 1173.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

“The meat of the plan consists of SAM [Sample Analysis at Mars Instrument Suite] preconditioning, drop off of the “Greenhorn” drill sample to SAM, and an EGA (evolved gas analysis). Essentially that means that we’ll heat the sample up in an oven and measure the major gases that are released,” Edgar adds.

Wheel inspection

On the third Sol planning, use of the Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) is on tap that is dedicated to imaging and monitoring Curiosity’s wheel wear and tear.

Additionally, Edgar notes, there’s a Mastcam change detection experiment to monitor the ripples on the third Sol.

“Add in a dash of excitement about the opportunity to study active dunes on another planet, and it’s sure to be a great weekend on Mars,” Edgar concludes.

As is always the case, 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.

Leave a Reply

Griffith Observatory Event