Curiosity ChemCam Remote Micro-Imager photo acquired on Sol 2541, September 29, 2019. Note laser hits on inside of hole.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/LANL

NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover is now conducting Sol 2542 duties.

“Go, SAM, go!”

Those are the words from Susanne Schwenzer, a planetary geologist at The Open University in the UK. The Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) Instrument Suite “is healthy and Curiosity will be spending most of her time of the coming three sols on the wet chemistry experiment activity.”

The planning team is very excited, Schwenzer adds, “and we keep all fingers crossed that we will find interesting data on Monday.”

Curiosity Navcam Right B photo taken on Sol 2541, September 29, 2019.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Power limited activities

With SAM featuring prominently in the plan, power is limited for other activities.

Thus, there are just three other observations in the recent three-sol weekend plan:

Mastcam was to continue their testing of Mt. Sharp imaging conditions on sol 2541 with an early morning mosaic of an area already imaged at different times of the day.

Curiosity Navcam Right B photo acquired on Sol 2541, September 29, 2019.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Closer to the target

Later in the same sol, the rover’s Chemistry and Camera (ChemCam) was slated to carry out an investigation of the “Glen Lyon” target.

“If that sounds familiar to you, then you’ve got a very good memory,” Schwenzer observes. “The target was investigated on sol 2533 when the rover was closer to the target, and is now re-measured to understand what influence – if any – distance to a target makes to the results.”

Curiosity ChemCam Remote Micro-Imager photo acquired on Sol 2541, September 29, 2019.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/LANL

Curiosity ChemCam Remote Micro-Imager photo taken on Sol 2539, September 27, 2019.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/LANL

 

 

 

 

Drill hole

Finally, a ChemCam investigation of the “Glen Etive” drill hole wall will add more data to the first set of points, improving scientific statistics on this very important target.

“Mastcam will document the ChemCam activities,” Schwenzer concludes, “and then all that there is left to do is await the data from SAM!”

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