Curiosity Mars Rover: New Drilling Duties

Pre-drill brushing. Curiosity Mars Hand Imager photograph produced on Sol 3054, March 10, 2021.
Credit score: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover has simply begun performing Sol 3055 duties.

Experiences Kristen Bennett, a geologist on the USGS Astrogeology Heart in Flagstaff, Arizona: “Curiosity is able to go forward with the primary drill of 2021!”

Curiosity Entrance Hazard Avoidance Digicam Left B picture taken on Sol 3054, March 10, 2021.
Credit score: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Mars scientists have began planning preliminary observations of the potential drill location referred to as “Nontron.” This consists of Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) imaging and Alpha Particle X-Ray Spectrometer (APXS) integrations, a Chemistry and Digicam (ChemCam) passive remark, and Mastcam multispectral photographs of Nontron.

Curiosity Left B Navigation Digicam photograph acquired on Sol 3054, March 10, 2021.
Credit score: NASA/JPL-Caltech

“This plan additionally features a drill preload check to arrange for the drill process,” Bennett provides. “After amassing this wealth of at Nontron, we anticipate transferring ahead with the total drill within the subsequent plan.”

Mast Digicam Proper photographs acquired on Sol 3051, March 6, 2021.
Credit score: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

Cliff face observations

The newly scripted plan can be full of non-drill associated actions.

“The rover is parked close to the Mont Mercou cliff face, a towering outcrop that offers us an amazing view of the sedimentary constructions which are current. The plan features a ChemCam passive remark and a Mastcam multispectral mosaic of a part of the outcrop, referred to as ‘La Coquille,’ to research the chemistry and any potential colour variations,” Bennett explains.

Curosity Left B Navigation Digicam picture taken on Sol 3052, March 8, 2021.
Credit score: NASA/JPL-Caltech

There’s a further Mastcam mosaic that covers a number of blocks of bedrock on the base of the La Coquille outcrop. This group of blocks impressed one workforce member to call this goal “La Madeleine,” just like the youngsters’s e-book.

Bennett flags the science workforce’s tackle the story:

On an outcrop on Mars all coated with veins

Have been twelve little rocks in two straight traces

This goal is named La Madeleine!

Taking within the twilight

Curiosity can be slated to look in the direction of the sky.

“The plan features a Mastcam mosaic taken at twilight to observe clouds within the sky. Moreover, a ChemCam passive sky remark has been coordinated with measurements from the ExoMars Hint Orbiter spacecraft,” Bennett says. “This joint remark can be used to check what the ground-based rover observes within the sky with what the spacecraft sees from orbit.”

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