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Curiosity Mars Rover: Lots of Variety in the Workspace

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Curiosity Left B Navigation Digicam photograph acquired on Sol 2609, December eight, 2019.
Credit score: NASA/JPL-Caltech

NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover is now performing Sol 2610 duties.

Reviews Susanne Schwenzer, a planetary geologist at The Open College within the U.Okay., Curiosity’s wealthy workspace consists of bedrock, pebbly areas and a brighter float rock of a form which has been noticed often within the neighborhood.

“Thus, plenty of selection…and a three-sol plan to fill.”

Curiosity Entrance Hazard Avoidance Digicam Left B picture taken on Sol 2609, December eight, 2019.
Credit score: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Distinction in coloration

The robotic’s current plan made good use of the rock selection within the workspace. Its Alpha Particle X-Ray Spectrometer (APXS) will examine two targets: “Scotnish” is a goal which shall be measured in a single day after use of the Mud Elimination Instrument (DRT) of the world.

“Gretna Inexperienced” is a contact and go goal measured in standoff mode, as a result of it’s a small brighter float rock.

“It is going to be attention-grabbing to see how the distinction in coloration – primarily albedo – interprets to chemistry,” Schwenzer notes. The robotic’s Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) is documenting the identical rocks as APXS, and as well as will picture “Smiddyhill” in canine’s eye mode to stand up shut with the sedimentary textures.

“The scientists again on Earth are eagerly ready to take a look at these photographs to know the depositional situations and likewise to correlate the rocks between the present investigations space at Western Butte,” Schwenzer reviews.

Curiosity Entrance Hazard Avoidance Digicam Left B picture taken on Sol 2609, December eight, 2019.
Credit score: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Repertoire of targets

In the meantime, Curiosity’s Chemistry and Digicam (ChemCam) is busy with three targets. “First, additionally it is investigating Gretna Inexperienced, after which provides a bedrock goal named “Skaill” and a pebbly goal referred to as “Stoneypath” to its repertoire,” Schwenzer provides.

The rover’s Mastcam provides to the feast with a number of massive mosaics, trying on the pediment forward, an space near the rover for sand ripple research and a goal referred to as “White Hills” for extra sedimentary research. There are additionally two multispectral investigations and the documentation of the ChemCam targets in Mastcam’s plan.

Curiosity Proper B Navigation Digicam picture taken on Sol 2609, December eight, 2019.
Credit score: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Trying ahead

This was to maintain Curiosity busy over final weekend, Schwenzer provides, and the rover is to check these photographs and knowledge to correlate them with earlier investigations, and likewise trying ahead to the highest of the butte.

Concludes Schwenzer, speaking of trying ahead: “The deliberate drive is designed to get a block of rock into the workspace, which the planning workforce anticipates might enable us correlations not solely round Western Butte, but in addition to Central Butte.”


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