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Curiosity Mars Rover: “Butte-iful” Territory

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Curiosity Proper Navigation Digital camera B picture taken on Sol 2573, November 1, 2019.
Credit score: NASA/JPL-Caltech

NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover is now performing Sol 2574 duties.

Curiosity continues to be in investigative mode characterizing Central Butte.

Curiosity Left Navigation Digital camera B photograph acquired on Sol 2572, November 1, 2019.
Credit score: NASA/JPL-Caltech

“The rover is a bit of additional up the aspect of the butte, and the aim is to characterize the totally different items that we are able to observe,” experiences Kristen Bennett, a planetary geologist on the USGS Astrogeology Science Heart in Flagstaff, Arizona.

Curiosity Left Navigation Digital camera B photograph taken on Sol 2572, November 1, 2019.
Credit score: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Rover targets

A weekend plan requires loads of contact science by the robotic.

“Upperhill” shall be focused with each the rover’s Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) and the Alpha Particle X-Ray Spectrometer (APXS) after the Mud Removing Instrument (DRT) removes mud from the floor.

Curiosity Left Navigation Digital camera B photograph acquired on Sol 2572, October 31, 2019.
Credit score: NASA/JPL-Caltech

“Stonehive” is an extra MAHLI and APXS goal within the plan. Lastly, “Kenmore” is a MAHLI-only goal that may look along with a block to assist scientists examine sedimentary constructions on this space, Bennett provides.

Variations within the office

Curiosity’s Chemistry and Digital camera (ChemCam) has 4 targets within the weekend plan together with Stonehive, which can be a contact science goal.

Curiosity Entrance Hazard Avoidance Digital camera Proper B picture taken on Sol 2573, November 1, 2019.
Credit score: NASA/JPL-Caltech

ChemCam can even goal “Ericht,” “Biggar,” and “Reay” to doc any variations current within the workspace.

Mastcam will take documentation photographs of all of the ChemCam targets. Mastcam can even take a multispectral commentary of Upperhill.

Sedimentary constructions

“This commentary will reap the benefits of the DRT goal to acquire multispectral information of a dust-cleared space. Moreover, Mastcam will take a number of mosaics of the butte,” Bennett explains.

Curiosity Mast Digital camera Left photograph taken on Sol 2570, October 29, 2019.
Credit score: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

“Hunda” is an growth of a earlier mosaic with the identical title.

“Attention-grabbing sedimentary constructions have been recognized within the unique mosaic,” Bennett provides, “so the expanded mosaic will assist us perceive the extent of those sedimentary constructions.”

Curiosity Proper Navigation Digital camera B picture taken on Sol 2573, November 1, 2019.
Credit score: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Outcropping laminations

“Carstairs” is a mosaic that’s trying alongside the aspect of the butte with a view to have a look at the outcropping laminations from a special angle. “The ultimate mosaic shall be of the highest of Central Butte to seize an space that we won’t be able to drive as much as,” Bennett factors out.

Curiosity Proper Navigation Digital camera B picture taken on Sol 2573, November 1, 2019.
Credit score: NASA/JPL-Caltech

 

“In spite of everything of those observations, Curiosity will begin driving across the butte to take a look at it from the opposite aspect,” Bennett concludes. “We anticipate to proceed having superb views of Central Butte at our subsequent cease!”

Erosional remnant

In one other Curiosity mission replace, Fred Calef, a planetary geologist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Curiosity lately made an virtually 33 toes (10 meters) drive “to strategy a “‘butte’iful” outcrop on the base of “Central” butte, an erosional remnant of the pediment in entrance of the rover, Calef explains.

Curiosity Proper Navigation Digital camera B picture taken on Sol 2573, November 1, 2019.
Credit score: NASA/JPL-Caltech

With a key geologic contact between two totally different layers a couple of meters forward, Calef provides, that a latest plan known as for a “touch-n-go” on sol 2572 with two APXS measurements, ChemCam, MAHLI, and Mastcam on rock “Glen Mark,” an extra ChemCam on “Fourpenny”, a Mastcam of close by “Pittodrie” on the lookout for nodules within the rock, and a Mastcam mosaic of layered outcrop “Hunda” in entrance of the rover which consists of high quality layered bedding.

Subsequent drill location

“We’re additionally firing up CheMin [Chemistry & Mineralogy X-Ray Diffraction/X-Ray Fluorescence Instrument] for an empty cell evaluation to prepare for the following drill location,” Calef experiences.

On sol 2773, the rover was slated to undergo its nominal listing of untargeted ChemCam acquisitions, a dust-devil survey, and Mastcam line-of-sight extinction to measure mud within the environment.

Curiosity Left Navigation Digital camera B photograph taken on Sol 2572, October 31, 2019.
Credit score: NASA/JPL-Caltech


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