NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover has simply begun performing Sol 2816 capabilities.
The rover has taken a flip…to the north, studies Lucy Thompson, a planetary geologist on the College of New Brunswick; Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada.
“We returned to nominal planning…after efficiently upgrading Curiosity’s flight software program,” Thompson explains.
A simply accomplished drive ought to take Curiosity slightly to the north and east, in the direction of its first deliberate cease on a summer time road-trip to the sulfate-bearing unit.
“To be able to protect as a lot drive time and distance as potential, we saved the science actions comparatively brief and candy,” Thompson provides.
Previous to the drive, Curiosity was slated to accumulate a Chemistry and Digicam (ChemCam) compositional evaluation of the everyday bedrock publicity within the workspace (“Bow Fiddle”), in addition to two Mastcam mosaics of the eastern-most exposures of the Greenheugh Pediment, which Mars researchers plan to go to later within the mission.
Seize the chemistry
“Following the drive, the ChemCam instrument will seize the chemistry of the rocks within the new workspace, utilizing its autonomous focusing on capabilities,” Thompson explains. “The remaining post-drive science actions will likely be devoted primarily to atmosphere and atmospheric monitoring, that are significantly necessary throughout Mars’ present dusty season. These will embody a big Navcam mud satan survey, a Navcam deck survey, Mastcam full tau imaging in the direction of the Solar and a Mastcam sky survey.”
A post-drive Mars Descent Imager (MARDI) science block is to observe the bottom beneath Curiosity’s wheels, in addition to customary Rover Environmental Monitoring Station (REMS), Radiation Evaluation Detector (RAD) and Dynamic Albedo of Neutrons (DAN) actions would spherical out a return to nominal planning.
Because the Alpha Particle X-Ray Spectrometer (APXS) strategic planner, Thompson says, the plan requires maximizing driving for distance on the robotic’s summer time road-trip.
“Nonetheless, I’m trying ahead to Curiosity having the ability to stretch her arm over the weekend, to the touch the rocks, and hopefully doc the chemistry and textures with the contact science devices (APXS and the Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI).”
Dates of deliberate rover actions are topic to alter on account of quite a lot of components associated to the Martian atmosphere, communication relays and rover standing.