Curiosity’s Location as of Sol 3027. Distance Driven 15.22 miles (24.50 kilometers).
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona

NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover is now closing out Sol 3027 tasks.

Abigail Fraeman, a planetary geologist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory reports that the rover is continuing along its journey through the rubbly unit that marks the transition from the clay-bearing rocks of “Glen Torridon” to the salty sulfate-bearing strata ahead.

Curiosity’s view looking towards the sulfate-bearing unit. Mars researchers see dramatic and inviting cliffs in the distance. This image was taken by Mast Camera on Sol 3025, February 8, 2021.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

A recent plan scripted a Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) and Alpha Particle X-Ray Spectrometer (APXS) observation on a piece of bedrock in the robot’s workspace named “Brantôme.”

Curiosity Front Hazard Avoidance Camera Left B photo acquired on Sol 3027, February 10, 2021.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Also planned are Mastcam multispectral observations, and some Mastcam and Chemistry and Camera (ChemCam) Remote Micro-Imager (RMI) mosaics of a small crater named “Rouchechuart” and distant strata named “Riberac.”

“After these science observations, Curiosity will drive [128 feet] roughly 39 meters towards the sulfate-bearing unit, which we can see forming dramatic and inviting cliffs in the distance,” Fraeman notes.

Curiosity Chemistry & Camera Remote Micro-Imager (RMI) photo taken on Sol 3027, February 10, 2021.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/LANL

Curiosity Left B Navigation Camera image taken on Sol 3027, February 10, 2021.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Curiosity Left B Navigation Camera image taken on Sol 3027, February 10, 2021.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Curiosity Mars Hand Lens Imager photo produced on Sol 3027, February 10, 2021.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

Curiosity Left B Navigation Camera image taken on Sol 3027, February 10, 2021.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

At the beginning of a recent planning day, Fraeman adds, Curiosity team members celebrated the arrival of a brand new orbital neighbor, the Emirates Mars Mission “Hope Probe.” Hope is the first mission to Mars led by the United Arab Emirates Space Agency, and its arrival into Mars orbit represents an extraordinary accomplishment.

Fraeman says “Welcome to Mars, Hope, we’re so excited to have you here!”

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