NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover is now performing Sol 3042 duties.
Reviews Mark Salvatore, a planetary geologist at College of Michigan: “Curiosity presses on to the east inside Gale Crater, characterizing compositional variations throughout the underlying bedrock as we proceed to march uphill and encounter sedimentary rocks that report the traditional geologic and environmental circumstances throughout the crater.”
Salvatore provides that, over the previous 35 sols, Curiosity has lined greater than 1,969 ft (600 meters) of lateral distance because the rover approaches distinctive compositional transitions noticed from orbit.
“The science group is continuous to make detailed analyses of the regional bedrock to guarantee that we perceive these transitions from the bottom as effectively,” Salvatore factors out.
A not too long ago scripted plan has the robotic conducting a touch-and-go Alpha Particle X-Ray Spectrometer (APXS) chemistry evaluation on the bedrock goal “Manzac” positioned in entrance of the rover.
“She can even be buying high-resolution pictures of the trail forward to help with future planning, making a collection of environmental observations, and gathering ChemCam [Chemistry and Camera] passive spectral knowledge on one other attention-grabbing bedrock unit in entrance of the rover named “Tranchecouyere.”
Sufferer of latest drive
“One further remark might be buying high-resolution coloration pictures of the goal “Tourtoirac,” positioned behind the back-right wheel of Curiosity,” Salvatore provides. “This goal was a sufferer to Curiosity’s latest drive, which resulted on this relatively giant rock tilting onto its aspect below the strain of Curiosity’s wheels.”
Salvatore explains that Tourtoirac now sticks up at roughly a 45° angle, which can enable scientists to get an excellent have a look at whether or not there are any well-preserved layers or morphologies which might be current alongside the aspect of the rock.
“It’s a fantastic bonus remark,” Salvatore concludes, “that may not have been attainable had Curiosity pushed a number of inches in a distinct route!”