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Curiosity Mission Updates

NASA's Mars rover Curiosity acquired this image using its Right Navigation Cameras (Navcams) on Sol 2027 Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

This was a week of transition for Curiosity's environmental science team. The cloudy season on Mars has ended as we've seen a marked decrease in water ice cloud activity in our Navcam sky movies over the last several weeks and we're moving quickly into the dusty season on Mars. We will now be drastically reducing the frequency in which we search for clouds and instead focus our attention on dust devils and storms. The atmosphere is beginning to get dustier, as seen by the hazy look of the northern rim in Gale Crater in this image. Indeed, we began preplanning our annual campaign to study a potential global dust storm, if and when such a storm develops this year. The dusty season on Mars, roughly the second half of the martian year, runs from the end of May until February next year, and we'll be monitoring closely for the signs that a global dust storm (the last of which occurred way back in 2008!) is developing.

But today on Mars, routine business continued as we performed a "touch-and-go" plan with MAHLI images of rock targets "Hawick", "Kemnay", and "Buchan", before driving toward our next destination. On the second sol of the plan, we planned two movies to look for dust devils and two more Mastcam image sequences to monitor the (increasing) amount of dust in the atmosphere as we move toward southern spring equinox.

About this Blog
These blog updates are provided by self-selected Mars Science Laboratory mission team members who love to share what Curiosity is doing with the public.

Dates of planned rover activities described in these reports are subject to change due to a variety of factors related to the Martian environment, communication relays and rover status.

Contributors
Tools on the
Curiosity Rover
The Curiosity rover has tools to study clues about past and present environmental conditions on Mars, including whether conditions have ever been favorable for microbial life. The rover carries:

Cameras

Spectrometers

Radiation Detectors

Environmental Sensors

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