This picture of the Curiosity arm’s shadow on the ground was taken just before a fault.
Front Hazcam Right B image taken on Sol 1826, September 25, 2017.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech


Now in Sol 1827, NASA’s Curiosity rover has faulted itself and is staying put on Vera Rubin Ridge.

“Just when we thought we were going to leave this spot on Mars, we found ourselves stuck here for yet another sol,” reports Scott Guzewich, an atmospheric scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.

Recovery mode

This time, a fault during one of Curiosity’s arm activities caused scientists to toss out plans for the past two sols. Those plans included a drive of the robot to the next waypoint in the Vera Rubin Ridge science campaign.

Curiosity is in a recovery mode, Guzewich adds. For Sol 1827, “It’s déjà vu all over again.”

Curiosity Navcam Left B photo acquired on Sol 1827, September 26, 2017.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Third attempt

The current plan calls for Curiosity controllers to make their third attempt to complete science activities at the rover’s current stop, including Chemistry and Camera (ChemCam) and Mastcam targets of nearby bedrock: “Sherwood Forest”, “Tableland”, and “Troll Valley.”

Curiosity Rear Hazcam Right B Sol 1827 September 26, 2017
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

“We were also able to plan a Mastcam image of a target named “Elf Woods” that was originally intended for the weekend plan, but had to be removed for power consideration,” Guzewich concludes. “Following these science activities, Curiosity will drive approximately 10 meters [33 feet] closer to our third stop on Vera Rubin Ridge.”

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