Curiosity Mission Updates

NASA's Mars rover Curiosity acquired this image using its Left Navigation Camera (Navcams) on Sol 1448 Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Curiosity had a nice ~78 m drive on Sol 1448, which set us up for a lot of great science over the long (4-sol) weekend. Unfortunately a problem with the Deep Space Network caused an entire Odyssey pass to be lost, so we didn’t receive the workspace images that we would have needed to do contact science. Without those images we didn’t feel safe moving the arm. But the team did a great job putting together a full weekend plan. The first sol starts with several Navcam observations to search for dust devils and monitor the atmosphere. Then we’ll acquire a Mastcam mosaic to document the beautiful buttes that we’ve been driving through, followed by ChemCam observations of the targets "Benguela" and "Gabela" to assess the composition of the local bedrock. Later in the afternoon we’ll take two more Mastcam mosaics of the buttes under better lighting conditions. Overnight, Curiosity will carry out a SAM methane experiment. On the second sol we’ll take a 360-degree Mastcam mosaic to document the geology as we drive through the Murray Buttes. On the third sol we’ll drive, followed by standard post-drive imaging for targeting and context. After a busy weekend, the fourth sol is devoted entirely to REMS observations. While the buttes are beautiful, they pose a challenge to communications, because they are partially occluding communications between the rover and the satellites we use to relay data (MRO and ODY), so sometimes the data volume that we can relay is pretty low. But it’s a small price to pay for the great stratigraphic exposures and gorgeous view! By Lauren Edgar --Lauren is a Research Geologist at the USGS Astrogeology Science Center and a member of the MSL science team.

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.

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:



Radiation Detectors

Environmental Sensors

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