Selfie Shots at Mont Mercou

Curiosity Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) has produced a sequence of pictures to piece collectively a rover selfie on the Nontron drill site. Pictures produced on Sol 3070, March 26, 2021.
Credit score: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS


NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover at Gale Crater is now performing Sol 3071 duties.

Michelle Minitti, a planetary geologist at Framework in Silver Spring, Maryland experiences: “We anticipate leaving our Nontron drill web site within the subsequent few sols, and simply as you would possibly snap one final image of a memorable trip spot, [the Mars Hand Lens Imager] MAHLI will wrap up the plan with a rover selfie that includes the spectacular ‘Mont Mercou’ within the background. Smile, Curiosity!”

Credit score: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

New imagery from the rover clearly exhibits selfie imagery has been produced that shall be formed right into a souvenir photograph!


“With a profitable drill marketing at Nontron within the books, the crew continued to wrap up drill gap observations and in addition seize some ultimate observations of the attention-grabbing supplies that mark this space,” Minitti provides.

Credit score: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS


The rover’s Chemistry and Digicam (ChemCam) was slated to amass a passive spectra of sulfate-bearing buttes that beckon from farther up “Mount Sharp.”

Curiosity’s Mastcam was scheduled to picture sand targets “Thenac” and “Thenon” “to search for wind-induced adjustments, and the goal “Creyssac,” a coherent crack in close by sand to look at how – or if – it adjustments,” Minitti explains.

Credit score: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

On the lookout for mud devils

The ’s Mastcam and Navcam had been additionally on faucet to each monitor the quantity of mud within the environment, and Navcam will purchase a in search of mud devils.

Curiosity’s Evaluation Detector (RAD), Rover Environmental Monitoring (REMS) and Dynamic Albedo of Neutrons (DAN) keep their regular watch over the Gale crater setting by means of the plan, Minitti notes.

The Chassenon goal is the -gray-white striped characteristic on the fringe of the block to the left of the drill gap on this picture taken by rover’s Mast Digicam on Sol 3056 March 12, 2021.
Credit score: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

The Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) will picture each spots that the Alpha Particle X-Ray Spectrometer (APXS) MAHLI analyzed on the pile of discarded Nontron drill pattern in an earlier plan.

Multi-spot evaluation

After the Nontron pattern, MAHLI will crew up with APXS for a multi-spot evaluation, or raster, on the “Chassenon” goal.

Credit score: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

“We mostly affiliate rasters with ChemCam, as shifting by means of a number of spots in succession – generally in a grid, generally in a – is how ChemCam analyzes a given goal. Such rasters take 20-30 minutes, relying on the variety of factors within the raster,” Minitti experiences. “A raster with APXS and MAHLI takes for much longer!”

MAHLI and APXS are each on the finish of the rover’s robotic arm, “so every MAHLI picture and every APXS evaluation depends on the arm and turret to softly and precisely place the devices the place the science crew needs them to go,” Minitti provides. “These arm motions are gradual and cautious, as you’d anticipate when you had been working a 2-meter lengthy arm weighing practically 100 kilograms!”

Credit score: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

Isolate the chemistry

If researchers solely obtained a single APXS evaluation over the middle of Chassenon, Minitti says, the ensuing chemistry could be a mixture of that characteristic – the sand to its left and the bedrock to its proper.

Credit score: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

Minitti says that by including two extra analyses – one barely shifted off the middle to get a mixture of the characteristic and the encircling bedrock, one over solely bedrock – scientists can higher isolate the chemistry of the characteristic.

“That’s achieved by combining the chemistry from the APXS analyses with the proportions of supplies in every APXS discipline of view, as decided with the MAHLI photos that accompany every APXS evaluation. The style through which the chemistry varies with these proportions permits the chemistries of the person supplies to be separated,” Minitti explains.

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