This image was taken by Curiosity’s Right Navigation Camera onboard NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity on Sol 3225.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech


NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover at Gale Crater has just begun performing Sol 3238 duties.

“Curiosity is working her way through a busy drill campaign at the Maria Gordon location and keeping her eyes on the beautiful cliffs nearby,” reports Lauren Edgar, a planetary geologist at USGS Astrogeology Science Center in Flagstaff, Arizona.

“Unfortunately the weekend plan didn’t uplink to the rover due to a DSN [Deep Space Network] issue,” Edgar adds, so that means that a recent two-sol plan (3238-3239) was devoted to recovering those activities.

Curiosity Front Hazard Avoidance Camera Left B image acquired on Sol 3229, September 5, 2021.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Drill sample analysis

The robot’s Chemistry & Mineralogy X-Ray Diffraction/X-Ray Fluorescence Instrument (CheMin) got to analyze the drill sample last week, so now it’s the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) Instrument Suite turn.

The plan calls for the drop-off to SAM and Evolved Gas Analysis.

CheMin will also dump the sample to clear out the cell for future use.

Delicious target

“The science team planned a lot of targeted remote sensing observations, including a ChemCam observation down the drill hole, multiple Mastcam mosaics to investigate nearby stratigraphy and nodule-rich areas, another ChemCam observation of a delicious target named “Chocolate Bloc” and a lot of environmental monitoring activities to monitor dust and clouds and search for dust devils,” Edgar concludes. “Can’t wait to find out what SAM thinks of the Maria Gordon sample!”

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