Curiosity Mars rover used its Navcam Left B camera to acquire this image of surrounding and distant terrain on September 20, 2015, Sol 1110. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Curiosity Mars rover used its Navcam Left B camera to acquire this image of surrounding and distant terrain on September 20, 2015, Sol 1110.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

 

The Curiosity Mars rover has experienced some rough driving.

A drive on Sol 1111 was cut short after a little over 15 meters.

According to Ryan Anderson, a planetary scientist at the USGS Astrogeology Science Center and a member of the Curiosity team, “we were driving over rough terrain and part of the rover’s suspension exceeded the allowed amount of tilt.”

Anderson adds that this is not a physical limit, just a threshold in the software that tells the rover to stop and check with Earth to be safe.

“The rover is fine and we plan to drive again in the Sol 1112 plan,” Anderson noted on Monday. “Meanwhile we are trying to decide where in the area we want to drill to maximize the science return. There are a lot of options because we’re surrounded by interesting geology!”

Curiosity Mastcam Right image taken on Sol 1109, September 19, 2015. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

Curiosity Mastcam Right image taken on Sol 1109, September 19, 2015.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

Potential drill target

After the drive, post-drive imaging is on tap to allow scientists to choose targets on Wednesday.

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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