Curiosity’s Front Hazcam Right B image taken on Sol 1617 February 22, 2017.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

The NASA Curiosity rover is now departing Sol 1617 activities.

Stuck in the middle on Mars – Curiosity’s right wheel.

That’s the word from Ken Herkenhoff of USGS’s Astrogeology Science Center in Flagstaff, Arizona.

“The drive planned for Sol 1616 halted early, apparently because the right rear wheel got stuck between two rocks,” Herkenhoff reports. “The mobility team concluded that it is safe to continue, so the drive planned for Sol 1617 is essentially the same as the previously-planned drive.”

Layered bedrock

Before the drive, the robot’s Chemistry and Camera (ChemCam) and Right Mastcam were set to observe a sand target named “New Sweden” and Right Mastcam will acquire mosaics of a layered bedrock outcrop dubbed “Hobbstown” and of the dunes that are the target of the drive. measure dust in the atmosphere before the drive begins, Herkenhoff notes.

Curiosity Navcam Left B image acquired on Sol 1617, February 22, 2017.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech



Testing of drill

After the drive and more testing of Curiosity’s drill, along with post-drive imaging to support planning on Wednesday, ChemCam will use special software to autonomously select a target for chemical analysis.

Curiosity Mastcam Right image acquired on Sol 1614, February 19, 2017.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

Meanwhile, a new map of Curiosity’s whereabouts has been issued.

The map shows the route driven by NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity through the 1617 Martian day, or sol, of the rover’s mission on Mars (February 22, 2017).




From Sol 1616 to Sol 1617, Curiosity had driven a straight line distance of about 26.59 feet (8.11 meters). Since touching down in Bradbury Landing in August 2012, Curiosity has driven 9.71 miles (15.63 kilometers).

The base image from the map is from the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment Camera (HiRISE) in NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.

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