Curiosity Front Hazcam Left A image taken on Sol 2236, November 20, 2018.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover is now performing Sol 2237 tasks.

“Curiosity is planning a smorgasbord of science over the next few days as it awaits results from digesting the ‘Highfield’ drill target material,” reports Fred Calef, a planetary geologist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.

Curiosity ChemCam Remote Micro-Imager photo taken on Sol 2235, November 19, 2018.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/LANL

Also on tap is continuing change detection observations including subdiurnal (i.e. several times a martian day) Mastcam observations of “Sand Loch” and “Windyedge”, as well as use of the Mars Descent Imager (MARDI) to watch moving sand grains beneath the rover, throughout the planning cycle.

Curiosity Mars Descent Imager (MARDI) image acquired on Sol 2235, November 19, 2018.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS


“There’s also a good helping of Mastcam sky column, Navcam sky flats, crater rim extinction, and suprahorizon and zenith movies to round out the meal of atmospheric events,” Calef adds. “Repeating observations during the day of the same locations are one of the unique ways the rover can provide an hourly view of Mars’ surface that only a spacecraft on the ground can.”

Planned is use of the Chemistry & Camera (ChemCam) instrument, targeting scattered pebbles nearby: reddish/pink rocks named appropriately “Rosemarkie” and some more bluish toned rocks called “Grey Mares Tail.”

Curiosity Mastcam Right photo taken on Sol 2235, November 19, 2018.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

Suspected meteorite

There will also be a look at the suspected meteorite “Little Todday” with a ChemCam Z-Stack (to measure its compositional variation with depth) and repeat Mastcam observations of the Highfield drill tailings to see if it’s still being pushed around by daily winds, Calef explains.

A Curiosity Mastcam color image of “Greenheugh”, a special type of ripple uniquely spaced apart and only seen on Mars, will be taken. “The last image of that target was from over 250 sols ago (!), which may allow us to determine how fast they move across the surface,” Calef adds.

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