Curiosity Right B Navigation Camera photo taken on Sol 3077, April 2, 2021.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

 

NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover is now performing Sol 3078 tasks.

“Curiosity is continuing to make her way around ‘Mont Mercou’ to capture as many angles as possible of the [23-feet] 7-meter tall sedimentary outcrop,” reports Kristen Bennett, a planetary geologist at the USGS Astrogeology Science Center in Flagstaff, Arizona.

Curiosity Right B Navigation Camera photo taken on Sol 3077, April 2, 2021.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

The rover recently stopped at a patch of sand, so the science team divided their focus between the sand at the robot’s feet and the outcrop towering above the Mars machinery.

Curiosity Right B Navigation Camera photo taken on Sol 3077, April 2, 2021.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Stereo observations

A newly scripted plan includes many images of Mont Mercou. There are several Mastcam mosaics that cover the outcrop, including some stereo observations. There is also a Chemistry and Camera (ChemCam) Remote Micro-Imager (RMI), called “Montpeyroux,” of interesting sedimentary structures that are visible from this side of the outcrop.

Curiosity Front Hazard Avoidance Camera Right B image acquired on Sol 3077, April 2, 2021.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

“The plan also focuses on the sand that is in the rover’s workspace. There are two contact science targets: “Scoor” on a ripple crest and “Garve” on a trough,” Bennett adds.

Curiosity Rear Hazard Avoidance Camera Left B photo taken on Sol 3077, April 2, 2021.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Curiosity’s Mastcam and Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) will each take images of these targets, while the Alpha Particle X-Ray Spectrometer (APXS) will focus on Garve.

Curiosity Mast Camera Left image acquired on Sol 3076, April 1, 2021.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

Curiosity is set to drive further around Mont Mercou.

“At first the rover will drive just a little bit and use MAHLI to image the wheels as they turn. Next, Curiosity will complete a longer drive to continue circling around to the top of Mont Mercou,” Bennett reports.

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