August 10, 2012

Mars Science Laboratory team member Jessica Samuels gives a progress report on Curiosity's first days on Mars.


Hi I'm Jessica Samuels, member of the engineering, operations team and this is your Curiosity rover report.

So since the nail-biting entry, descent and landing event, we're happy to report that Curiosity is healthy and clicking off all the activities that we asked her to perform for the first few days on the surface.

We first deployed the high gain antenna to facilitate communications back to Earth so that we can communicate with Curiosity much more efficiently.

We've deployed the remote sensing mast so we can start acquiring our beautiful panoramic images and we've also checked out what the state of the rover is by looking at ourselves in addition to the Martian landscape.

We were happy to find that we weren't covered in a large amount of dust as some members of the team thought might happen. In actuality, we just have some of these pebbles that have strewn the rover deck with just a fine, fine layer of dust, which is well within the operating limits of the rover.

So coming up, we're going to give the rover a brain transplant.

We're wiping away all of the cruise and entry, descent and landing software and making room for the software needed to perform the exciting portions of the surface mission ahead.

We're giving the rover the capability to do the sampling portion of the mission as well as being able to drive more efficiently to different targets on the surface.

While we're doing the software upgrade, we'll still be sending images from the entry, descent and landing event, as well as different images from the panoramas that will give us a view of what the landscape looks like around the rover.

So that's your Curiosity rover report. Please check in often for further updates. NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology.

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