Curiosity Front Hazard Avoidance Camera Right B image taken on Sol 2809, July 1, 2020.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover is now conducting Sol 2810 activities.

No holidays on Mars! To give the (American) Earthlings a holiday on Friday, Mars researchers have planned 5 sols of activities for Curiosity, reports Scott Guzewich, an atmospheric scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.

Curiosity Left B Navigation Camera photo taken on Sol 2809, July 1, 2020.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Mix of activities

“But our rover will certainly not be taking any days off, with a mix of science and engineering activities over the long weekend,” Guzewich adds. “We are continuing to update the rover computer’s flight software, which will preclude nearly all science activities during the first and last sols of those 5 sols. In between is a fairly normal 3-sol weekend plan.”

Curiosity Right B Navigation Camera image acquired on Sol 2809, July 1, 2020.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Guzewich notes that the robot had adjusted its position from a previous sol and the front left wheel moved downward onto the surface. This uncertainty in its position precluded contact science at this location, but still scheduled is a full list of remote sensing science with the Chemistry and Camera (ChemCam) and Mastcam before the rover drives away over the weekend.

Curiosity Mast Camera Left photo taken on Sol 2804, June 26, 2020.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS


Dusty season

“Mars is in the middle of the dusty season currently (southern hemisphere spring) and the amount of dust in the atmosphere has been increasing over the last 2 weeks, although it is still within typical values for the season above Gale Crater,” Guzewich report.

For the long weekend, additional activity for Curiosity is to monitor atmospheric dust devils so researchers are aware if any storms develop, Guzewich concludes.

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