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Curiosity Mission Updates

NASA's Mars rover Curiosity acquired this image using its Right Navigation Cameras (Navcams) on Sol 2053 Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Our sol 2054 plan was limited by a small morning downlink. Occasionally, the flight paths of the Mars orbiters over Gale Crater don't have favorable geometries for relays with Curiosity, and this means our data downlink passes are smaller than average. Today we received only 1.6 MB (Megabytes) of data at the start of our planning day. This was just enough to tell us the drive executed successfully and the rover was healthy, but not enough to include any new images from our current spot. We did get another (also small) downlink several hours into planning, which gave us the first view of our drill target smack in the middle of our workspace - a rock we are calling "Duluth."

Since we didn't have images available at the start of the planning day to choose science targets, we will spend most of sol 2054 completing "untargeted" activities. We will collect data from the ChemCam calibration target, take pictures of the sky with MAHLI (sky flats), snap a photo of the rover deck with Mastcam, and squeeze in one LIBS target that will be chosen autonomously by the rover using the AEGIS software. We will also make observations to characterize our environment and the dust in the atmosphere, including a Mastcam tau observation and images of the crater rim, and Navcam images of the sky and horizon.

We will also image Mars' moon Phobos passing in front of the sun around 8:30 in morning of sol 2055, before we handover to the new plan. We've taken Phobos transit images several times before (i.e. https://mars.nasa.gov/resources/4805/phobos-transit-viewed-by-opportunity-on-sol-3078/), and these data help us better constrain the orbit of this small, potato shaped moon.

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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