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Curiosity Mission Updates

NASA's Mars rover Curiosity acquired this image using its Left Navigation Camera (Navcams) on Sol 2098 Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Curiosity is back on top of the Vera Rubin Ridge once more, having completed our drive over the weekend as we move toward our next drilling target in the "Pettegrove Point" geological member. This Navcam image shows the occasionally steep edge of the Vera Rubin Ridge on the left side of the image and the dusty haze beyond it that has shrunk our horizons for the last few weeks.

Today's 2-sol plan involved contact science with APXS on rock targets "Dumbarton Rock", "Duntarvie Castle", and "Duntelchaig" and four ChemCam LIBS rasters on nearby targets. After climbing back onto the ridge, there is no lack of interesting bedrock targets nearby and the ground is much smoother and suitable for driving compared to where we've been for the last many weeks while we studied our "Duluth" drill hole and its surroundings.

As ENV science lead today, I continued our dust storm campaign with a variety of measurements of atmospheric dust opacity (which has continued a very slow decline from a peak about 2 weeks ago). We've had to alter existing measurement techniques for measuring dust opacity and create new ones to account for the high amounts of dust in the atmosphere and the corresponding low light levels at the surface. But this also affords us new opportunities to study the properties of dust particles themselves.

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.

Contributors
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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