The two Glen Etive Drill holes. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS



NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover is now performing Sol 2557.

Reports Ashley Stroupe, Mission Operations Engineer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the rover is taking its last views of the Glen Etive 2 drill sample. A recent plan had the robot cleaning out the remaining sample within the drill and doing contact science analysis on the dumped sample.

Image of possible meteorite.
Credit: NASA/JPL


Both the Chemistry and Camera (ChemCam) and Mastcam will be taking a look at “Penicuik,” a pebble target, and “Monach Isles,” a potential small meteorite. Also planned is a standard environmental observation suite: a Mastcam crater rim extinction and tau, and a Navcam supra-horizon movie.

Dumped sample

After the targeted observations, rover planners are to dump out the drill sample, and then take MAHLI (Mars Hand Lens Imager) photos of the dumped sample, the drill hole and tailings, and the SAM (Sample Analysis at Mars) Inlet 1.

Using proximity mode to avoid touching the surface, the robot will perform Alpha Particle X-Ray Spectrometer (APXS) integrations on two positions over the dump pile, Stroupe explains.

New road map

Newly released map shows the route driven by NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity through the 2556 Martian day, or sol, of the rover’s mission on Mars (October 15, 2019).

Numbering of the dots along the line indicate the sol number of each drive. North is up.

From Sol 2555 to Sol 2556, Curiosity had driven a straight line distance of about 6.03 feet (1.84 meters).

Curiosity Front Hazard Avoidance Camera image taken on Sol 2557, October 16, 2019.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Since touching down in Bradbury Landing in August 2012, Curiosity has driven 13.13 miles (21.14 kilometers).

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

Scuff marks

Fred Calef, Planetary Geologist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory notes that the rover drive purposely ran over a megaripple (fine grained sandy ripple with a coarser pebble coating) to create a “scuff” which churned up and bisected the feature to observe any layering or material within. The rover science team chose to inspect the interior of the wheel track scuff and the original undisturbed ripple surface.

Curiosity Front Hazard Avoidance Camera image acquired on Sol 2557, October 16, 2019.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

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