MISSION UPDATES | May 24, 2021

Sols 3129-3130: A Familiar Scene

Written by Lauren Edgar, Planetary Geologist at USGS Astrogeology Science Center
This image was taken by Front Hazard Avoidance Camera (Front Hazcam) onboard NASA's Mars rover Curiosity on Sol 3127.

This image was taken by Front Hazard Avoidance Camera (Front Hazcam) onboard NASA's Mars rover Curiosity on Sol 3127. Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech Download image ›

We started planning today hoping to see some new bedrock in our workspace, but unfortunately the weekend plan didn’t work out exactly as we had hoped. As the previous blog explained, we’re in the process of recovering from a fault with the MAHLI cover. The good news is that the MAHLI cover was successfully closed over the weekend, but we encountered some unrelated hiccups with Curiosity’s remote sensing mast, so we have limited science activities today. I was on duty as Long Term Planner (LTP) today, and all of these changes to the plan kept me on my toes. I’m impressed by how the team was able to quickly adapt to changing circumstances and add some helpful observations into the plan. We’ll mostly focus on environmental monitoring activities in today’s two-sol plan, with DAN and REMS and some Hazcam dust devil surveys. SAM also planned an electrical baseline test, which we periodically do to monitor instrument health. Looking ahead, we hope to drive later this week and get back on the road to explore the basal sulfate unit. The view might be familiar, but it’s still pretty spectacular - I love the above Hazcam image with the shadow of the arm outstretched and some tantalizing stratigraphy ahead!