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Curiosity Mars Rover: “On to New Adventures”

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Curiosity Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) photograph produced on Sol 2248, December 2, 2018. MAHLI is situated on the turret on the finish of the rover’s robotic arm.
Credit score: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover is now performing Sol 2250 duties.

Susanne Schwenzer, a planetary geologist on the Open College, Milton Keynes, within the U.Ok., reviews that on sol 2250 the rover is to complete observations on and across the Highfield drill gap and drive to an space the place purple Jura is uncovered.

Change detection

“The dataset Curiosity collected on the Highfield location could be very informative,” Schwenzer notes, because it contains observations that particularly profit from the longer keep, such because the change detection imaging experiments.

Curiosity Navcam Left A photograph taken on Sol 2248, December 2, 2018.
Credit score: NASA/JPL-Caltech

“In one of many photos, the sand actions grew to become very obvious by the drill gap already beginning to fill in – not a deliberate change detection, however an fascinating one nonetheless,” Schwenzer provides. “It’s just some sols since we drilled, but sand has drifted in and components of the drill fines have blown away. We had been as soon as extra reminded, simply how lively Mars is!”

Drill web site context

Not too long ago, Curiosity was set to make the 2 final Chemistry and Digital camera (ChemCam) observations within the Highfield space: one measurement shall be taken of the Highfield dump pile, and one among a vein goal known as “Niddrie.”

“These will assist us to higher perceive the drilled pattern itself, and in addition the geologic and geochemical context of the drill web site. Mastcam will doc the actions as typical,” Schwenzer factors out.

ChemCam Distant Micro-Imager photograph acquired on Sol 2249, December three, 2018.
Credit score: NASA/JPL-Caltech/LANL

Subsequent drill web site

“Then we’ll head off to the following potential drill web site to discover a good place to drill the purple Jura,” Schwenzer says. The group has extensively surveyed the realm, and Curiosity is heading to a web site known as “Lothian.”

“After the drive, Curiosity will collect as a lot data as she will be able to by doing a big workspace Mastcam mosaic,” Schwenzer reviews. Different actions are Navcam submit drive imaging and use of AEGIS, the Autonomous Exploration for Gathering Elevated Science (AEGIS) software program.

“On to new adventures,” Schwenzer concludes, “purple Jura, right here we come!”

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