MISSION UPDATES | June 22, 2020

Sol 2801: Keep Running Up That Hill?

Written by Scott Guzewich, Atmospheric Scientist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center
Surface of Mars

This image was taken by Front Hazard Avoidance Camera (Front Hazcam) onboard NASA's Mars rover Curiosity on Sol 2800. Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech. Download image ›​

"Bloodstone Hill" continued to present a challenge to us over the weekend, when our second attempt to reach an ideal spot for contact science failed. The hill is steep and rocky, making it harder to gain traction. But ultimately, the sulfate unit is more of a priority to the science team, so we’ll be leaving Bloodstone Hill behind and continuing our journey. Today, the first discussion was weighing whether to try again or use the bedrock that was available in the current workspace for our contact science. After finding that our position was stable for contact science, GEO quickly identified a suitable location for analysis by APXS and MAHLI. Beyond the contact science, GEO has a busy plan with 3 ChemCam LIBS targets and a large Mastcam mosaic of the layers in Bloodstone Hill.

As ENV theme group lead today, I added a dust devil movie and two images of the crater rim to monitor dust in the atmosphere. We’re seeing lots of dust devil activity lately as we’re in the peak season for them on Mars and also seem to be near an area that is conducive for their formation.