25 October 2018

Sols 2211-2212: Getting Back into the Science Swing of Things!

Posted by Ryan Anderson

While we are working toward understanding and recovering from the anomaly, Curiosity is slowly ramping back up into normal science operations.

Earlier this week, we got our environmental instruments DAN, RAD, and REMS back online and we exercised the arm for the first time since the anomaly, retracting it from the surface and moving it above the deck. Today we are doing some environmental and atmospheric observations with REMS, RAD, and DAN. We’re also using our Engineering cameras to do atmospheric science observations and some sky imaging to help in camera calibration. Mastcam is also being used for the first time to take several atmospheric tau measurements, as well as looking out at our workspace and the targets we were investigating. We’re specifically doing change detection to see if the drill fines have moved around with the wind and if there is dust moving around on the targets and on the rover deck. We’re looking forward to getting the rest of our instruments, the arm, and mobility all back to nominal operations soon.

An important milestone to note – on sol 2211 Curiosity will surpass the lifespan of the Spirit rover (we last heard from her on sol 2210) and become the second-longest lived rover on Mars, second to Opportunity!

Written by Ashley Stroupe, Mission Operations Engineer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory