Curiosity Navcam Left B image taken on Sol 1457, September 11, 2016. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Curiosity Navcam Left B image taken on Sol 1457, September 11, 2016.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

 

NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity is at work on Sol 1457 today.

According to Ryan Anderson, a planetary scientist at the USGS Astrogeology Science Center in Flagstaff, Arizona, Curiosity is now parked at the next drill site, called “Quela”. This site is right at the base of one of the Murray Buttes.

The Sol 1456 plan, as scripted, was to start with a Mastcam atmospheric observation, followed by use of the rover’s Chemistry & Camera (ChemCam) and Mastcam of “Quela” along with a Mastcam mosaic of the workspace.

After that, samples of “Marimba” were to be dropped off in the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) Instrument Suite for analysis.

Image taken by Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) -- located on the turret at the end of the rover's robotic arm -- on Sol 1457, September 11, 2016. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

Image taken by Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) — located on the turret at the end of the rover’s robotic arm — on Sol 1457, September 11, 2016.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

Big brush off

On Sol 1457, Curiosity’s Mastcam has another atmospheric opacity (tau) observation, and then the rover dumps out the remaining Marimba sample, taking images of the sample.

Curiosity has brushed off the dust on the Quela target, with Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) images snapped before and after. The rover’s Alpha Particle X-Ray Spectrometer (APXS) slated to conduct and an overnight analysis.

Curiosity Mastcam Left image taken on Sol 1455, September 9, 2016. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

Curiosity Mastcam Left image taken on Sol 1455, September 9, 2016.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

 

 

 

Fallen rocks

In the morning on Sol 1458, the plan calls for use of Navcam, Mastcam, and ChemCam to take a series of atmospheric observations. These will be followed by Mastcam multispectral observations of the Marimba dump pile, and another ChemCam passive sky and Mastcam tau.

Curiosity Mastcam Right image taken on Sol 1454, September 8, 2016. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

Curiosity Mastcam Right image taken on Sol 1454, September 8, 2016.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

ChemCam is also slated to analyze a block of Stimson material called “Uutapi.”

 

 

 

Mastcam is also on tap to document Uutapi and take a mosaic of some other blocks of rock that have fallen off the butte, collectively called “Cuimba,” Anderson reports.

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