Curiosity Mission Updates

NASA's Mars rover Curiosity acquired this image using its Mast Camera (Mastcam) on Sol 1284 Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

St. Patrick’s Day on Mars didn’t quite go as planned. Yesterday we planned a ~15 m drive to a nearby ridge, but we came in this morning to find that the drive didn’t occur (blame it on the leprechauns?). In reality, we can blame it on a short in the RTG, which precluded the drive. This fault has occurred several times previously . Because the fault is understood, we were able to proceed with the weekend plan from our current location. The first sol of the weekend plan is devoted to targeted remote sensing. We’ll start with some environmental monitoring observations to assess atmospheric opacity and composition. Then we’ll acquire ChemCam and Mastcam observations on the targets "Sesriem Canyon," "Omaheke," and "Varianto" to assess variations in composition and sedimentary structures in the local bedrock. In the afternoon, we’ll acquire a large Mastcam mosaic of Mt. Sharp, to take advantage of the low atmospheric opacity right now (which means that the conditions are great for imaging). The second sol is focused on contact science. We’ll use MAHLI and APXS to investigate two targets: "Sesrium Canyon" and ldquo;Rossing." The first target exposes some nice bedding in the Stimson formation, and the second includes some interesting bright material for comparison. Then on the third sol, we’ll again try to drive towards the ridge to the northwest and acquire post-drive imaging for targeting. I hear the pot of gold lies just beyond… By Lauren Edgar --Lauren is a Research Geologist at the USGS Astrogeology Science Center and a member of the 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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