10 July 2017

Sol 1752 Blog: Sand in Curiosity’s rear-view

Posted by Ryan Anderson

NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity acquired this image using its Right Navigation Cameras (Navcams) on Sol 1751 Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Following a jam-packed weekend of contact and remote science on some beautiful sand deposits, the GEO group opted for mostly remote observations in today’s plan. ChemCam will target ‘Grogg Ledge,’ a small patch of Murray bedrock in front of the rover. ChemCam will also use its Remote Micro-Imager (RMI) to take a long-distance mosaic of an interesting portion of Vera Rubin Ridge.

After our ChemCam activities, we’ll take a suite of Mastcam mosaics to finalize our coverage of the sand deposits that we looked at over the weekend. We’ll then drive, take some post-drive images, and perform a post-drive AEGIS observation. Later in the afternoon, we will conduct a SAM Electrical Baseline Test (EBT), which is designed to periodically monitor SAM‘s electrical functions. We also have a series of ENV activities for today, including standard REMS and DAN during the day, and an early morning suite for tomorrow that includes a Mastcam tau, line-of-sight extinction, and Navcam zenith and suprahorizon movies.

Today my job was the GEO group’s Keeper of the Plan (KOP), which is a really exciting and rewarding operational role. As the KOP, I’m responsible for building the activities that GEO would like Curiosity to execute for the day. This involves assessing the terrain around the rover, searching for targets, and selecting observations that will help us achieve our scientific objectives. These tasks require input from all instrument teams and can sometimes get pretty busy!

Written by Rachel E. Kronyak