Curiosity Front Hazard Avoidance Camera Left B image showing recent drill hole taken on Sol 3067, March 23, 2021.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover is now performing Sol 3068 tasks.

“Curiosity is still parked in front of the magnificent ‘Mont Mercou’ cliff face as we continue to work through analyses of the ‘Nontron’ drill site,” reports Lauren Edgar, a planetary geologist at the USGS Astrogeology Science Center in Flagstaff, Arizona.

Curiosity Mast Camera Right photo acquired on Sol 3066, March 22, 2021.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

Last weekend, the robot dropped off more sample to the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) Instrument Suite, followed by a planned SAM evolved gas analysis (EGA) in addition to other remote sensing activities.

Curiosity Mast Camera Right photo acquired on Sol 3066, March 22, 2021.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

Rim shot

A recent one sol plan starts with several environmental monitoring activities, including a Navcam line of sight observation and Mastcam image of the crater rim to characterize the dust content in the atmosphere.

Then the rover’s Chemistry & Camera (ChemCam) was on tap for several instrument calibration activities, followed by Remote Micro-Imager (RMI) mosaics of “Jayac” and “Journiac” to assess variations in laminae and diagenetic features exposed in the Mont Mercou cliff face, Edgar explains.

Curiosity Chemistry & Camera Remote Micro-Imager (RMI) photo acquired on Sol 3067, March 23, 2021.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/LANL

Spectacular stratification

Curiosity’s Mastcam was also scripted to take a super resolution mosaic “with the intent to increase the level of detail that we can see in an image by using slightly offset camera pointings,” Edgar adds.

Curiosity image of Mont Mercou cliff face taken by Right Navigation Camera, Sol 3065, March 21, 2021
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

“We hope these observations will help us interpret the spectacular stratification seen” [in the Mont Mercou cliff face.] “Feeling inspired and humbled as Curiosity explores this beautiful outcrop!

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