5 August 2015
By Lauren Edgar
Tonight marks the third anniversary of Curiosity’s landing in Gale crater. It’s been a great three years, full of a number of important science discoveries. Check out this video and webpage for a summary of some of the top science results so far.
To celebrate starting her 4th year on Mars, Curiosity is driving away from the Lion outcrop, and back toward the Missoula outcrop. I feel like Curiosity has really grown up in these past couple of years, and she’s acting like a true field geologist – quickly interpreting key science data, and revisiting sites that will improve our understanding of the geologic history here. In today’s plan, Curiosity will make a couple of final observations at Lion before driving away. In the morning we’ll acquire ChemCam and Mastcam on the target “Moiese” to look for chemical variations across the outcrop. Just before driving away, we’ll take one last Mastcam image of the dump pile, using all of the camera filters. Then we’ll drive back towards Missoula, and take some Navcam images to prepare for ChemCam targeting in tomorrow’s plan. Ken Herkenhoff and I were both on duty today (as the SOWG Chair and GSTL), so it was fun to be part of this important milestone on Mars. Keep on roving!
–Lauren is a Research Geologist at the USGS Astrogeology Science Center and a member of MSL science team.
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.