Curiosity Front Hazcam Right B photo taken on Sol 2446, June 24, 2019.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech


NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover is busily performing Sol 2447 science tasks.

“Curiosity is still perched on top of Teal Ridge to investigate a fascinating outcrop that caps the ridge,” reports Kristen Bennett, a planetary geologist at the USGS in Flagstaff, Arizona.

Scientists have been characterizing the ridge-capping material, but also devoting time to use the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) Instrument Suite to look for methane.

Ridge-capping material is visible in the foreground, and the background shows where Curiosity is going to drive to next. Image taken by Curiosity’s Navcam Left B camera on Sol 2439, June 17, 2019.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech



Dog’s eye mosaic

A recently scripted three-sol plan includes a Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) dog’s eye mosaic of the target “Stack of Glencoul.”

CuriosityChemCam Remote Micro-Imager photo acquired on Sol 2446, June 24, 2019.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/LANL

“Typically the arm is positioned such that the MAHLI instrument is looking down on a target. In a dog’s eye observation, the rover arm is positioned so that it looks at the target from the side. The team decided we should do a dog’s eye mosaic at this location so we can look directly at the laminations within these rocks,” Bennett explains.



The robot’s Alpha Particle X-Ray Spectrometer (APXS) will also target Stack of Glencoul in the weekend plan so Mars researchers will be able to pair compositional information with these images. MAHLI will also take images of the “Yesnaby Stacks” target to document a different part of the outcrop that exhibits laminations.

Also included in the plan are a Navcam dust devil movie, Mastcam images of the “Sandyhills” target to monitor changes due to wind, a Chemistry and Camera (ChemCam) observation of Yesnaby Stacks, and an addition to the “Beauly” Mastcam mosaic to complete our Mastcam coverage of this outcrop, Bennett adds.

Curiosity Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) image produced on Sol 2444, June 22, 2019.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

Play it again SAM

“The SAM instrument is also featured prominently in this weekend’s plan. The team is using SAM to periodically search for methane in the atmosphere,” Bennett concludes, “so SAM will ‘sniff’ the air during the night on the second sol and then spend part of the weekend analyzing this sample of the martian atmosphere.”

Curiosity Rear Hazcam Right B image acquired on Sol 2446, June 24, 2019.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

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