Curiosity Right B Navigation Camera photo taken on Sol 2739, April 20, 2020.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech


NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover is now performing Sol 2740 tasks.

The Mars Hand Lens Imager, called MAHLI, is the rover’s version of the magnifying hand lens that geologists usually carry with them into the field. MAHLI’s close-up images reveal the minerals and textures in rock surfaces.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

Reports Ryan Anderson, a planetary geologist at USGS Astrogeology Science Center in Flagstaff, Arizona, the plan for Sol 2740 and 2741 is focused on diagnosing the issue with the robot’s Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI).

There was an issue with MAHLI on sol 2735 that caused Curiosity’s arm motion to stop before the instrument was positioned on the rock target “Creig.”


“But while we are sitting in one place, we will also collect plenty of remote sensing data of the area around the rover,” Anderson adds. “On Sol 2740 MAHLI will close its dust cover while Mastcam takes a video, and then both Mastcam and Navcam will take some follow up images once the cover is closed.”

Curiosity Front Hazard Avoidance Camera Left B image acquired on Sol 2739, April 20, 2020.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech


Atmospheric dust

Once that is done, the rover’s Chemistry and Camera (ChemCam) will observe the targets “Beinn An Dudhaich,” “Peach,” and “Edina.” That will be followed by atmospheric observations: Navcam will look at atmospheric dust toward the northern horizon and will then search for dust devil activity.

Curiosity Mast Camera Right image taken on Sol 2738, April 19, 2020.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

Navcam will also take an “upper tier” mosaic, Anderson notes, “to be able to see all of Mount Sharp.”


Mastcam will then also look toward the crater rim and at the Sun to measure dust in the atmosphere.

Telescope mosaic

Sol 2741 will start with another Navcam image to the north, followed by a 10 frame ChemCam Remote Micro Imager (RMI) telescope mosaic of part of the pediment cap called “Ogre Hill.”

Curiosity Right B Navigation Camera image acquired on Sol 2738, April 19, 2020.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Mastcam will take a three-frame mosaic of the same area, plus a two-frame mosaic of the ChemCam Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS) targets from the previous sol. Finally, Navcam will take a three-frame mosaic of the rover deck “to see how dusty things are getting,” Anderson concludes.

Leave a Reply