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Curiosity Mars Rover: Thanksgiving Plans

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Mid-drive picture displaying the sand patch “Stemster” behind the rubbly workspace the robotic now explores.
Curiosity Proper B Navigation Digicam picture taken on Sol 2593, November 22, 2019.
Credit score: NASA/JPL-Caltech

NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover has simply began performing 2594 Sol duties.

Reviews Catherine O’Connell, a planetary geologist on the College of New Brunswick in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada: “We’re placing Central Butte behind us now, as we journey onwards to Western Butte, a close-by hill that seems to be much like Central Butte. At Central Butte, we had been spoiled for selection, with a number of rocky outcrops to research.”

Curiosity Entrance Proper B Hazard Avoidance Digicam picture acquired on Sol 2593, November 22, 2019.
Credit score: NASA/JPL-Caltech

A latest drive by the robotic introduced it to the kind of workspace Mars scientists have seen beforehand in Glen Torridon – tons and many small pebbles and sand.

Pebbly materials

“We did nonetheless handle to seek out issues to research,” O’Connell provides.

Curiosity’s Alpha Particle X-Ray Spectrometer (APXS) is to combine on an space known as “Stream Nation” over the weekend, break up into three distinct sections – sand, very small pebbles and a single bigger pebble.

Curiosity Left B Navigation Digicam picture taken on Sol 2593, November 22, 2019.
Credit score: NASA/JPL-Caltech

“It will permit us to match the compositions, and to see how they relate to pebbly materials encountered additional again in Glen Torridon,” O’Connell factors out.

Potential meteorite targets

The rover’s Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) is to finish the contact science on Stream Nation, imaging all three elements of the goal. Chemistry and Digicam (ChemCam) is to research some bigger fragments of rock “Nutberry Moss” and “Otterswick,” in addition to two potential meteorite targets “Pladda Isle” and “Swona.”

Curiosity Mast Digicam Left picture acquired on Sol 2592, November 21, 2019.
Credit score: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

Drive forward

“As all the time, our plan is filled with Mastcam imagery. Along with documenting the ChemCam targets, Mastcam is imaging two sand patches “Stemster” and “Stonywynd,” and searching again in the direction of Central Butte earlier than we drive on sol 2595,” O’Connell notes.

The Environmental theme group (ENV) deliberate a sequence of Mastcam and Engineering Digicam (ECAM) motion pictures to have a look at environmental situations, resembling mud devils, clouds and mud overhead within the sky above the rover and in the direction of the partitions of Gale crater.

The plan additionally requires Rover Environmental Monitoring Station (REMS) and Dynamic Albedo of Neutrons (DAN) to proceed their ongoing environmental monitoring.

“As soon as the drive completes, we are going to keep in place till after the Thanksgiving vacation. Mastcam will picture our new workspace and surrounding space in order that we are able to do a number of contact science and a really particular imaging mission over the vacation interval,” O’Connell concludes.

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