Curiosity Left B Navigation Camera image taken on Sol 2958, December 1, 2020.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover is now carrying out Sol 2959 tasks.

A recent drive by the wheeled robot of roughly 167 feet (51 meters) placed it in front of good outcrop to study, reports Lauren Edgar, a planetary geologist at USGS Astrogeology Science Center in Flagstaff, Arizona.

Curiosity’s plan involved a “touch-and-go” – an opportunity to do short duration contact science before getting back on the road, Edgar adds. The rover was to acquire Alpha Particle X-Ray Spectrometer (APXS) and Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) observations of the target “Edinburrie” to systematically characterize bedrock as the robot transitions between stratigraphic units.

Curiosity will make progress to the southeast with a roughly 30 meter drive, towards the bright blocky area seen on the horizon in this Left Navigation Camera photo taken on Sol 2958 December 1, 2020
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Drive to the southeast

Then Curiosity is to stow its robotic arm, Edgar explains, and have a short science block which contains Chemistry and Camera (ChemCam) and Mastcam observations of a nodular bedrock target named “Bruggs” and a Mastcam tau to monitor dust in the atmosphere.

Curiosity will then continue making progress to the southeast with a drive of roughly 98 feet (30 meters), Edgar adds, towards a bright blocky area seen on the horizon,” Edgar reports. After the drive the rover will acquire imaging to help with context and targeting in an upcoming plan.

Curiosity Front Hazard Avoidance Camera Left B image taken on Sol 2958, December 1, 2020.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

 

 

Also planned is another autonomously selected ChemCam Autonomous Exploration for Gathering Increased Science (AEGIS) target, and a ChemCam calibration activity. And last but not least, scientists will take a standard Mars Descent Imager (MARDI) photo to keep track of the changing terrain beneath the rover, Edgar concludes.

Curiosity Chemistry & Camera Remote Micro-Imager (RMI) photo acquired on Sol 2958, December 1, 2020.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/LANL

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