Curiosity Front Hazard Avoidance Camera Right B image taken on Sol 2746, April 27, 2020.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech


NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover is now carrying out Sol 2747 duties.

Curiosity Chemistry & Camera Remote Micro-Imager (RMI) photo taken on Sol 2746, April 27, 2020.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/LANL

Next stop for the rover is a new drill site dubbed “Glasgow”, reports Roger Wiens, a geochemist at Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico.

The Curiosity rover is about 66 feet (20 meters) lower in elevation than its highest point near the “Edinburgh” drill hole. With the commands recently uplinked, the rover should arrive at the Glasgow candidate drill site.

Curiosity Rear Hazard Avoidance Camera Left B image acquired on Sol 2746, April 27, 2020.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Clay-bearing unit

“The purpose of this drill location is to sample the fractured intermediate unit, which is the last major (known) geological unit left to be sampled in the clay-bearing unit that Curiosity has been exploring over the last roughly 440 sols,” Wiens says.

Curiosity Left B Navigation Camera photo taken on Sol 2745, April 26, 2020.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

“The team has selected the name ‘Glasgow’ for this candidate drill site. Glasgow is the name of the largest city in Scotland. For trivia buffs, this is to be the fourth drill site starting with a “G,” after “Greenhorn” (silica alteration site, Sol 1137) and “Glen Etive 1 and 2” (drilled earlier in the clay-bearing unit, sols 2486 and 2527),” Wiens adds.

Two-sol plan

Mars scientists have built a two-sol plan (Sols 2747-2748) including a 4×4 Chemistry and Camera (ChemCam) raster on target “Troon” and a 1×10 raster on “Buttery.”

Curiosity Front Hazard Avoidance Camera Left B image acquired on Sol 2745, April 26, 2020.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Mastcam will take images of those two targets, Wiens points out, as well as a follow-up image of the ChemCam Autonomous Exploration for Gathering Increased Science (AEGIS) autonomous targeting system targets from the weekend, a 6×4 mosaic of the planned drill area, and a stereo 2×5 mosaic of target “Alpin.”

Curiosity’s Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) will get a full suite of images (25 cm, 5 cm stereo, and 2 cm) on “Troon.”

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona

Short drive

A very short drive of 15 feet (roughly 4.5 meters) is planned to arrive at the candidate drill site.

There are Dynamic Albedo of Neutrons (DAN) passive and active observations and post-drive imaging, including a Mars Descent Imager (MARDI) observation.

On the second sol, ChemCam will take a passive sky observation and will do several passive calibration activities.

“With that, we expect Curiosity to be set for the Glasgow drill campaign,” Wiens concludes.

Road map

Meanwhile, a new rover road map has been issued.

The map shows the route driven by NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity through the 2745 Martian day, or sol, of the rover’s mission on Mars (April 27, 2020).

Numbering of the dots along the line indicate the sol number of each drive. North is up. The scale bar is 1 kilometer (~0.62 mile).

From Sol 2742 to Sol 2745, Curiosity had driven a straight line distance of about 110.63 feet (33.72 meters), bringing the rover’s total odometry for the mission to 13.73 miles (22.09 kilometers).

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


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