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Mars Science Laboratory

Curiosity Mission Updates

NASA's Mars rover Curiosity acquired this image using its Rear Hazard Avoidance Cameras (Rear Hazcams) on Sol 1837 Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

After a successful plan was carried out on the previous sols, in the decisional downlink we received limited imaging data with which to work today. Due to this not-yet received data, we developed our plan with the local workspace in mind and pushed some observations into the next plan. In the workspace, we planned for two ChemCam observations and associated Mastcam documentation images designed to continue the characterization of the chemical makeup of the "Vera Rubin Ridge" and the context of the hematite. Due to limited power for today's plan (thanks to some power-hungry SAM observations), that's just about all that made it in from a remote sensing perspective.

However, we did get a couple of MAHLI and APXS targets into the plan on the "Cheshire" and "Duitschland" targets to further augment the chemistry derived from the remote ChemCam observations. All of these observations are helping us to build up a detailed sedimentological and chemical stratigraphy for the Vera Rubin Ridge.

In this plan, SAM was the star of the show, though this activity didn't have anything to do with the Vera Rubin Ridge campaign. In this plan, Curiosity completed the sample drop-offs of the "Ogunquit Beach" sample back from the Bagnold Dunes campaign. As a part of this measurement suite, SAM will conduct an Evolved Gas Analysis (EGA) where the sample will be heated and some of the sample minerals will decompose or release their trapped water. This measurement allows us to effectively characterize the volatiles (e.g., SO2, CO2 and H2O) contained in the samples with the Gas Chromatograph Mass Spectrometer (GCMS). In the next plan, Curiosity will be at the same spot since the SAM measurements took so much power this weekend they prohibited a drive. In that plan, we'll be able to recapture some of the activities that were excluded from today's plan due to the limited imaging data that was downlinked. While Curiosity carries out these science measurements over the weekend, it'll have a pretty spectacular view as its parked right next to the edge of the Vera Rubin Ridge.

As it turns out, there's still plenty to do on Mars.

About this Blog
These blog updates are provided by self-selected Mars Science Laboratory mission team members who love to share what Curiosity is doing with the public.

Dates of planned rover activities described in these reports are subject to change due to a variety of factors related to the Martian environment, communication relays and rover status.

Tools on the
Curiosity Rover
The Curiosity rover has tools to study clues about past and present environmental conditions on Mars, including whether conditions have ever been favorable for microbial life. The rover carries:



Radiation Detectors

Environmental Sensors

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