Curiosity Left B Navigation Camera image acquired on Sol 2702, March 13, 2020.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

 

NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover is now performing Sol 2702 duties.

Curiosity Front Hazard Avoidance Left B Camera photo taken on Sol 2702, March 13, 2020.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

The robot’s recent drive went well, reports Ken Herkenhoff, Planetary Geologist at the USGS Astrogeology Science Center, “setting the rover up for contact and remote science on exposures of the pediment-capping bedrock.”

Curiosity Left B Navigation Camera image acquired on Sol 2702, March 13, 2020.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Bedrock slabs

A recently drafted plan called for the Curiosity’s arm to be deployed on Sol 2701, Chemistry and Camera (ChemCam) will measure the elemental chemistry of the sides of a couple bedrock slabs dubbed “Strath Halladale” and “Glen Tanar.”

The Right Mastcam will image both of the ChemCam targets, then the Dust Removal Tool (DRT) will be used to brush off the top of another slab of bedrock at “Assynt Window.”

Potential drill target, (slab upper right) at Beinn Fhada.
Curiosity Left Navigation Camera image taken on Sol 2700, March 11, 2020.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Brush that off

Herkenhoff notes that the Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) will take seven images of the brushed spot and another three images of a nearby slab named “Glen Feshie.”

The Alpha Particle X-Ray Spectrometer (APXS) will be placed on Glen Feshie for an evening integration, then moved over to Assynt Window for an overnight integration.

The plan for Sol 2702 has the arm being stowed to allow ChemCam to observe a different bedrock slab named “Beinn Fhada” and the side of a rock called “Shieldaig.”

Short drive

Curiosity Left B Navigation Camera image acquired on Sol 2702, March 13, 2020.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

After the Right Mastcam takes images of those targets, “the rover will perform a short drive to get Beinn Fhada in the arm workspace, allowing detailed investigation of this slab as a potential drill target,” Herkenhoff says. “After the drive, the arm will be unstowed to allow unobstructed imaging of the arm workspace to support targeting for the weekend plan.”

Finally, Navcam will search for clouds and the robot’s Mars Descent Imager (MARDI) will take a standard twilight image of a new patch of Mars’ surface.

 

 

 

 

“If all goes well and pending analysis of these new data,” Herkenhoff concludes, “the team may decide to acquire a new drill sample!”

Curiosity Mast Camera Right image taken on Sol 2701, March 12, 2020.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

Curiosity Chemistry & Camera Remote Micro-Imager (RMI) photo taken on Sol 2700, March 11, 2020.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/LANL

Curiosity Chemistry & Camera Remote Micro-Imager (RMI) photo taken on Sol 2700, March 11, 2020.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/LANL

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