Curiosity Navcam Left B image taken on Sol 1588, January 23, 2017.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover is performing science duties as it works its way through Sol 1589.

This past weekend saw the robot drive roughly 92 feet (28 meters), reports Ryan Anderson, a planetary scientist at the USGS Astrogeology Science Center in Flagstaff, Arizona.

Curiosity Navcam Right B image taken on Sol 1587, January 22, 2017.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech


Heavy on observations

The plan for Sol 1589 has the rover continuing its slow ascent of Mt. Sharp. Curiosity’s Chemistry & Camera (ChemCam) remains in a “sick” condition, with ground teams trying to sort out the error that occurred last week.

The upshot is that the robot’s Sol 1589 science block is heavy on Mastcam observations.

Curiosity Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) photo acquired on Sol 1586, January 21, 2017. MAHLI is located on the turret at the end of the rover’s robotic arm.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

After Navcam does an observation to watch for dust devils, Ryan adds that Mastcam will collect mosaics of the targets “Cape Elizabeth,” “Mount Battle,” “Mount Blue,” and “Hematite Ridge.”


Squeezing between rocks

Following this planned duty, Curiosity’s Alpha Particle X-Ray Spectrometer (APXS) is slated to measure the composition of “Cape Elizabeth” and the Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) is on tap to take supporting pictures.

Once the robot’s arm activity is done the rover will drive about 98 feet (30 meters), squeezing between a couple of large rocks, Ryan notes, toward some bedrock that looks good for more contact science.

Curiosity Mastcam Left image taken on Sol 1587, January 22, 2017.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS


After the drive, Curiosity will carry out standard post-drive imaging.

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