Curiosity Front Hazcam Left B image acquired on Sol 2361, March 28, 2019.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover has just begun Sol 2362 duties.

“We are continuing to find interesting new things in Glen Torridon,” reports Abigail Fraeman, a planetary geologist at NASA/JPL in Pasadena, California.

Fraeman points to new imagery on target “Stonebriggs.”

Curiosity Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) acquired on Sol 2356, March 24, 2019. MAHLI is located on the turret at the end of the rover’s robotic arm.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

“We’ve seen round and smooth clasts before,” Fraeman adds, “but this area really stands out in how densely the clasts are packed together. Were these pebbles rounded by water during transport over a long distance? Or are they wind polished concretions similar to what we saw back on sol 1806…or something completely different? There is a lot to talk about within the science team!”

Recently, Curiosity’s workspace looked more typical of what scientists have been seeing over the last few weeks.

Curiosity MAHLI image acquired on Sol 2361, March 28, 2019.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

On the move

A new plan called for the rover to continue driving towards an area researchers hope to drill.

Before that drive, the scheduled called for Curiosity on sol 2361 to collect Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) and Alpha Particle X-Ray Spectrometer (APXS) data on a target named “Ardmillan,” followed by Chemistry and Camera (ChemCam) observations of Ardmillan, “Uyea,” “Torry,” and “Eorsa.”

Image taken during Phobos transit of Sun as seen by Curiosity Mastcam Right on Sol 2359, March 27, 2019.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

Nearby outcrops

Fraeman points out: “We will also image nearby outcrops with apparent sedimentary structures named ‘Scolty Hill,’ ‘Midlothian,’ and ‘Dunans,’ as well as some sandy features named ‘Glamis.’”

“Finally, we take a full filter Mastcam observation of the nearby dark rock, ‘Eorsa,’ that we almost drove to last sol,” Fraeman concludes. On sol 2362, the plan calls for taking a video of Phobos transiting the sun and a few ChemCam Autonomous Exploration for Gathering of Increased Science (AEGIS) software observations.

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

Traverse map

Meanwhile, a Curiosity traverse map through Sol 2359 shows the route driven by the wheeled robot through the 2359 Martian day, or sol, Mars (March 27, 2019).

This map through the 2359 Martian day, or sol, shows the rover’s mission on Mars as of March 27, 2019.

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 2357 to Sol 2359, Curiosity had driven a straight line distance of about 90.63 feet (27.63 meters), bringing the rover’s total odometry for the mission to 12.66 miles (20.38 kilometers).

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

Curiosity Navcam Left B photo taken on Sol 2361, March 29, 2019.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

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