Curiosity Mission Updates

NASA's Mars rover Curiosity acquired this image using its Front Hazard Avoidance Cameras (Front Hazcams) on Sol 2496 Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
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Conjunction is the few-week period when Mars goes behind the sun and we stop communicating with our spacecraft that are there. Our last planning day before conjunction will be next Friday, and thinking about that fast approaching day feels very similar to thinking about getting ready to leave for vacation. The Curiosity science team has many things we want to wrap up before conjunction, so we're trying to work extra hard to do as much as we can before setting up Curiosity's (figurative) auto-reply "I'm behind the sun" email.

This weekend's plan is all about running additional SAM analyses on the Glen Etive drill sample. We are planning to deliver a portion of the drill sample to SAM on lucky sol 2500, and SAM will analyze its composition using the gas chromatograph and mass spectrometer (GC-MS) on sol 2501. This SAM activity is preceded by an activity to clean the GC column on sol 2499, and the combined observations use so much power, there's not a lot left for other activities. We did manage to fit in a little bit of remote sensing, taking two ChemCam targets of "Sutherland" and "Risk" with their associated Mastcam images, along with some images to monitor dust in the atmosphere. Looking forward to seeing the results from this weekend's SAM run!

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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