Curiosity Mission Updates

NASA's Mars rover Curiosity acquired this image using its Left Navigation Camera (Navcams) on Sol 1216 Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

On Sol 1216 Curiosity drove 43 m toward the Namib Dune sampling location. That meant that today we had to decide on our final sampling spot, and there were many different factors to consider. I was the GSTL today, and it was a busy morning trying to figure out our top science priorities. We eventually settled on a location that met all of our science objectives: a sharp-crested ripple that would provide access to sample both coarse and fine-grained material, that was relatively dust free (implying more activity), and would allow a favorable rover orientation. Now we just have to hope that the drive and wheel scuff go smoothly! The plan today involved a pre-bump Mastcam mosaic for context, and some deck imaging to monitor fines. Then Curiosity will drive toward the sampling location, and will turn the right front wheel to create a scuff in the sand. After the drive we’ll take more imaging to prepare for targeting in the weekend plan. In the afternoon, we’ll also use Mastcam for a change-detection observation of a nearby ripple. I’ll be on duty again tomorrow, so I’m excited to see how the plan works out! By Lauren Edgar --Lauren is a Research Geologist at the USGS Astrogeology Science Center and a member of MSL science team. 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.


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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