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Curiosity Mission Updates

NASA's Mars rover Curiosity acquired this image using its Mast Camera (Mastcam) on Sol 2012 Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

For much of the last year, Curiosity has been exploring fine-grained rocks along Vera Rubin Ridge, and investigating red and gray color variations. Recently, something else caught our eye: dark cobbles and boulders exposed in patches, as seen in the above Mastcam image. We've seen some similar blocky deposits earlier in the mission, but it's definitely been a while. These interesting rocks led the science team to decide to spend the weekend at a patch of these dark blocky deposits.

I was the SOWG Chair today, and it was a fairly straightforward planning day once we settled on that end of drive location. The plan starts with MAHLI and APXS observations of the target "Corsehill" to characterize some potential concretions in the bedrock at our present location. Then we'll acquire Mastcam multispectral imaging of yesterday's DRT target "Lingarabay" and some additional Mastcam mosaics to document diagenetic features and nearby blocky deposits at "Sidlaw," "Edzell," and "Waternish." Unfortunately we were pressed for time today so we weren't able to fit in any ChemCam observations, but we look forward to collecting more ChemCam data in the weekend plan. We also planned a Navcam dust devil movie, along with standard REMS and DAN measurements. After Curiosity's ~18 m drive, we'll take post-drive imaging to prepare for contact science in the weekend plan, and we'll acquire an overnight APXS atmospheric observation. I'm looking forward to learning more about these blocky deposits and how they relate to the depositional and erosional history preserved at Vera Rubin Ridge!

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.

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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:

Cameras

Spectrometers

Radiation Detectors

Environmental Sensors

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