MISSION UPDATES | August 26, 2022

Sols 3575-3577: A New Terrain

Written by Keri Bean, Rover Planner Deputy Team Lead at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory
This image was taken by Left Navigation Camera onboard NASA's Mars rover Curiosity on Sol 3574.

This image was taken by Left Navigation Camera onboard NASA's Mars rover Curiosity on Sol 3574. Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech. Download image ›

Today you could hear the excitement of the scientists as we’ve approached an area with a different type of rocks! There are lots of scientific goodies in the plan as a result.

We start off sol 3575 with a big block of science activities! First is a ChemCam activity on “Nova Estrela” which we will later look at with the robotic arm, followed by a ChemCam mosaic in the distance. Then Mastcam will take pictures of Nova Estrela, “Candado”, some of our recent rover tracks, some scouting images for a potential drill location nearby, and some of the Orinoco butte nearby. Finally, that block of science observations will end with an atmospheric monitoring activity. After that the rover will take a short nap, and mid-afternoon wake up to take a Mastcam sky observation. We’ll take another nap before beginning the robotic arm activities in the late afternoon.

Today I was the arm Rover Planner, so I was responsible for the arm commanding. We are taking a look at three targets with the arm. First, we’ll take some MAHLIs of the “Los Rosos” target and a 1.8cm offset of it, then some MAHLIs of Nova Estrela, then finally some MAHLIs of “Enamuna” before placing APXS down on Los Rosos for an APXS measurement. Later in the Martian evening we’ll re-place APXS on the Los Rosos offset target to get a slightly different measurement. Later in the night we’ll stow the arm to prepare for the drive on the next sol.

On sol 3576, we begin with a Mastcam of Bolivar, a ChemCam observation of Enamuna and a ChemCam mosaic, before following up with a Mastcam of Enamuna. After that, we’ll drive about 12m to a rock for robotic arm work in the next plan. After the drive we’ll do a DAN active activity.

For the third sol of the plan, 3577, we have a midday science observation set with ChemCam autonomously selecting a target and a slow of Navcam atmospheric observations. After a long nap, the rover will take a single MARDI image along with a cosmic ray survey. Overnight we will also have an APXS atmospheric observation. Curiosity will awake quite early in the morning of sol 3578 to do a Navcam pre-dawn cloud survey and slightly later in the morning another block of Navcam and Mastcam atmospheric observations.

We also have a lot of passive DAN measurements and background REMS and RAD observations in the plan.