November 29, 2012

After spending six weeks doing science investigations at Rocknest, NASA's Curiosity Mars rover is on the move again to Point Lake and a place to try out the drill.


Hi my name is Torsten Zorn I’m tactical downlink lead on the Mars Science Laboratory and I’m coming to you with your Curiosity rover report.

Since November 10th we’ve been tracking a very large dust storm on Mars with Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, Curiosity and Opportunity. Luckily this dust storm has abated and even if it didn’t it would have been fine for Curiosity as well within its design limitations.

Recently Curiosity was able to take a beautiful hi-res image of herself using the MAHLI Hand Held Imager. By putting together a sequence of very complex arm motions we were able to take dozens of images and splice them together creating a beautiful self-portrait.

After several weeks of being stationary at the Rocknest site we began driving again on Sol 100. This marked a significant milestone on the mission as we reached about a half a kilometer of total driving distance on the surface of Mars.

Currently the left front wheel is sitting on a rock that we’ve dubbed Bell Island. We plan to back up off that rock to bring the rock into the arm’s workspace and we’re going to do some contact science on it with APXS and MAHLI.

After completing our science campaign at our current location we’re going to be moving to the East to a place called Point Lake. From here we’re going to be looking for a target to perform our first ever drill on Mars.

This has been your Curiosity rover report. Check back for further updates.

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