Curiosity Mast Camera Left image taken on Sol 3049, March 5, 2021.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover has just begun performing Sol 3052 duties.

Ryan Anderson, a planetary geologist at the USGS Astrogeology Science Center in Flagstaff, Arizona reports that the Mars rover team decided to drive to a drill location closer to the cliff face of “Mont Mercou.”

A flat patch of bright outcrop on Mars, a rover drill site imaged by Curiosity’s Left Navigation Camera on Sol 3049.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

“Before we do that, Mastcam will take a stereo mosaic of the drill site as well as a larger stereo mosaic of the cliff face to get a high-resolution look at the layers exposed there,” Anderson notes.

Curiosity Front Hazard Avoidance Camera Right B image acquired on Sol 3051, March 7, 2021.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Curiosity Chemistry & Camera Remote Micro-Imager (RMI) photo acquired on Sol 3051, March 6, 2021.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/LANL

The robot’s Chemistry and Camera (ChemCam) will join in too, with a 20-image mosaic of the top of the cliff.

Series of images

Curiosity’s Mastcam was slated to search for dust devils and measure the amount of dust in the atmosphere on Sol 3051.

In the late afternoon on Sol 3051, the rover’s Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) was scheduled to collect a series of images of the targets “Montrem” and “Peyrat” and then the Alpha Particle X-Ray Spectrometer (APXS) will measure the composition of both targets, starting in the evening on Peyrat and continuing overnight on Montrem.

Curiosity Left B Navigation Camera image acquired on Sol 3051, March 7, 2021.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Curiosity Mast Camera Right imagery from Sol 3049, March 5, 2021.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

New location

Sol 3052 will start with Navcam atmospheric observations, followed by ChemCam passive and Mastcam multispectral observations of the brushed spot on Montrem.

Mastcam will also take a stereo mosaic of the target “Grand Brassac” and a nearby butte.

“We will then drive toward Mont Mercou and collect Navcams

 

and a [Mars Descent Imager] MARDI image from the rover’s new location,” Anderson says.

Curiosity Mars Hand Lens Imager photo produced on Sol 3051, March 7, 2021
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

Brushed spot on “Montrem” as seen in this Curiosity Mars Hand Lens Imager photo produced on Sol 3051, March 7, 2021.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

Curiosity Right B Navigation Camera photo taken on Sol 3050, March 5, 2021.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Curiosity Mast Camera Left image taken on Sol 3049, March 5, 2021.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

Overnight between sols 3052 and 3053, the robot’s Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) Instrument Suite has a calibration activity. On Sol 3053, the plan calls for use of Navcam to watch for clouds, and both Navcam and Mastcam to measure atmospheric dust.

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