MISSION UPDATES | January 10, 2022

Sol 3353: Raise the (Martian) Roof

Written by Michelle Minitti, Planetary Geologist at Framework
This image was taken by Right Navigation Camera onboard NASA's Mars rover Curiosity on Sol 3352.

This image was taken by Right Navigation Camera onboard NASA's Mars rover Curiosity on Sol 3352. Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech. Download image ›

On the second sol of the weekend plan, Curiosity took an unexpected break, stopping arm motion on the way to deploying MAHLI to image the wheels for their regular check up. As such, her arm is jutted up in the air, a bit of which you can see in the above image, and it (and the rest of the rover) stayed there the rest of the weekend. The science and engineering teams very much care that Curiosity is waving her hand in the air, and quickly set about recovering the arm so we could complete wheel imaging and our drive to "The Prow."

Before take two of wheel imaging and the drive, we took the opportunity to gather more data from the interesting bedrock and structures on this area. ChemCam will shoot "Sucre," a horizon filled with resistant nodules, to see if the nodules belie a chemistry change. ChemCam will then acquire RMI mosaics of two different parts of The Prow, "Ptari" and "Panari," to give us more insight into the structure we are heading toward. Mastcam will support ChemCam by imaging Sucre and another target from the weekend, a dark, flat resistant feature, that was targeted by ChemCam autonomously. Mastcam will keep additionally busy with stereo mosaics of "Indio" and "Mutum," both areas with prominent layering that might help reveal the orientation of the bedrock, and a single image of "Maverick Rock," which earned its name from the complex mix of bedrock that appears present within.

Throughout the plan, we monitor the environment below and above us with DAN passive and active, regular REMS and RAD, a Mastcam image to keep tabs on the amount of dust in the atmosphere, and a Navcam images to look for dust devils and clouds.

We expect that when we return for planning tomorrow that we will have all these science goodies in the bag, as well as new wheel images and a new parking spot by The Prow. Stay tuned!