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Curiosity Mars Rover: Tale of the Tailings

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Curiosity Mastcam Proper picture taken on Sol 2171, September 14, 2018
Credit score: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover has simply begun Sol 2217 science actions.

Melissa Rice, a planetary geologist at Western Washington College in Bellingham, Washington, experiences that the total Curiosity science staff is again in swing of issues following the rover’s anomaly again on Sol 2172.

Curiosity Mastcam Proper picture acquired on Sol 2211 October 25, 2018.
Credit score: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSSNASA’s 

“It has been over a month since we final seemed on the ‘workspace,’ the area in entrance of the rover that the arm can attain,” Rice says, “and there have been some surprises in retailer for us!”

Wind sweep

Previous to the robotic’s anomaly, the rock eyed by Curiosity was lined with gray-colored tailings from a failed try and drill the “Inverness” goal, nonetheless, these tailings at the moment are gone – and so is loads of the darkish brown soil and reddish mud.

“So whereas Curiosity has been sitting nonetheless, the winds have been transferring, sweeping the workspace clear,” Rice provides.

Curiosity Entrance Hazcam Left A picture taken on Sol 2216, October 31, 2018.
Credit score: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Later this week, the plan requires Curiosity to make the most of this freshly-scrubbed floor by taking close-up Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) photos of nice particulars within the rock, together with the light-toned veins crisscrossing the outcrop which might be peppered with fascinating darkish inclusions.

Curiosity Navcam Proper A picture acquired on Sol 2214, October 29, 2018.
Credit score: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Ripple discipline

Because the science staff eased again into science operations, on the plan is taking MAHLI photos with the duvet open and closed to examine how a lot mud is on the duvet, a MAHLI picture of the Rover Environmental Monitoring Station (REMS) ultraviolet sensor, a Chemistry and Digital camera (ChemCam) statement of the vein goal “Grange,” and a few Mastcam photos of the close by ripple discipline “Sandend” to search for extra adjustments as a result of wind.

Curiosity Navcam Proper A photograph acquired on Sol 2214, October 29, 2018.
Credit score: NASA/JPL-Caltech

As a long-term planner, Rice explains there’s pleasure for a brand new drive by Curiosity to a specific spot the place it may well efficiently drill into the grey rock.

Concludes Rice: “Quickly the wind received’t be the one factor transferring round right here!”

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