Curiosity Navcam Right B photo acquired on Sol 2477, July 26, 2019.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover is now wrapping up Sol 2478 duties.

Over the last few weeks Curiosity has collected hundreds of spectacular images that document the layers and textures of rocks exposed in the “Visionarium,” reports Abigail Fraeman, a planetary geologist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.

Curiosity ChemCam Remote Micro-Imager photo taken on Sol 2478, July 27, 2019.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/LANL

Delve deeper

“With all of this imaging under our belt, we’re now hoping to delve deeper into studying the composition of the rocks in the Visionarium, so we are beginning to look for our next potential drill target,” Fraeman explains.

The scripted plan for the weekend is having Curiosity driving roughly 33 feet (10 meters) to the top of the southern escarpment in the Visionarium.

Curiosity Mastcam Left image acquired on Sol 2477, July 26, 2019.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

Future drill targets

“The drive will place us in an ideal location to image potential future drill targets,” Fraeman adds. Before the drive, Mars researchers will spend a sol collecting Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) and Alpha Particle X-Ray Spectrometer (APXS) data from targets named “Naver” and “Fetterangus,” along with Chemistry and Camera (ChemCam) and Mastcam observations of “Malin Sea,” “Loch Katrine,” and “Loch Broom.”

Curiosity Navcam Left B image taken on Sol 2477, July 26, 2019.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

“We’ll also take several environmental science monitoring observations,” Fraeman points out, “and an 80 frame stereo Mastcam mosaic of ‘Hebrides,’ which is the area where we hope to find our next drill target.”

Leave a Reply