Hunt for Next Drill Site

Curiosity Entrance Hazard Avoidance Digicam Left B picture taken on Sol 3080, April 5, 2021.
Credit score: NASA/JPL-Caltech

NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover at is now performing Sol 3081 duties.

The robotic is on a hunt for its subsequent drill goal, studies Mariah Baker, a planetary geologist on the for Earth & Planetary Research, Smithsonian Nationwide Air & Area Museum in Washington, D.C.

“Lately, the rover has been investigating the ‘Mont Mercou’ rock outcrop…and now she’s making her round to the highest of the outcrop to discover a appropriate place to drill,” Baker notes. “However there’s at all times science to be performed alongside the way in which!”

Curiosity Proper B Navigation Digicam photograph taken on Sol 3080, April 5, 2021.
Credit score: NASA/JPL-Caltech

New drive

A brand new plan scoped out two sols of rover actions with a drive within the center.

The science block on Sol 3081 was to incorporate two Mastcam stereo mosaics of Mont Mercou, in addition to Chemistry and Digicam (ChemCam) observations on a titanium calibration goal.

Curiosity Rear Hazard Avoidance Digicam Left B picture acquired on Sol 3080, April 5, 2021.
Credit score: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Navcam and Mastcam pictures may even be acquired to measure the quantity of mud within the environment. “Contact and go” contact science with the Alpha Particle X-Ray Spectrometer (APXS) and Mars Hand Imager (MAHLI) was to be performed on bedrock goal “Orliac” earlier than the rover executes a deliberate drive of over 60 toes (19-), Baker studies.

Subsequent drill spot

After the drive, the rover will purchase customary post-drive pictures of its subsequent workspace with the Mastcam, Navcam, and Mars Descent Imager (MARDI) cameras.

Self-inspection of wheel put on. Curiosity Mars Hand Lens Imager photograph produced on Sol 3079, April 4, 2021.
Credit score: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

The untargeted science block on Sol 3082 is deliberate to incorporate a protracted Navcam mud satan film and a single Mastcam picture to accumulation of sediment on the rover’s deck, Baker provides.

Each sols (3081-3082) have been to incorporate Dynamic Albedo of Neutrons (DAN)

And Rover Environmental Monitoring Station (REMS) measurements, in addition to quick science blocks round sundown for Navcam and Mastcam cloud imaging.

“Within the coming sols,” Baker concludes, “the rover will proceed to gather much more information on the native geology and surroundings as she hunts for our subsequent drill location on Mars!”

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