the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Surfers

Sols 3294-3295: Extra Energy for Extraterrestrial Science! – NASA’s Mars Exploration Program

This symbol used to be taken via Mast Digital camera (Mastcam) onboard NASA’s Mars rover Interest on Sol 3291. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS. Download image ›

When the operations workforce logged on these days, we have been ready to pick out up the place Monday’s workforce had left off in Curiosity’s ongoing drill campaign at Zechstein. However then we gained some information: even if the unique plan already incorporated two hefty science blocks, the rover nonetheless had additional power to spare! To be able to benefit from this extra power, the workforce added but any other science block to the plan and strategically located it to happen within the morning round 8 AM native Martian time. Whilst science blocks usually happen all the way through the center of the day, this early dawn used to be fascinating as a result of it could supply higher illumination for obtaining a ChemCam RMI symbol of a fancy rock outcrop within reach (proven within the Mastcam symbol above). Plus, the extra heating had to function tools all the way through the chilly morning hours would burn up extra of the rover’s spare power. In different phrases, this new morning block used to be advisable for each science and operations—a win win!

The opposite two science blocks within the plan have been additionally crammed to the brim with actions: two Mastcam mosaics have been deliberate on native bedrock together with goal “Hare Stone,” and a 3rd Mastcam mosaic will supply stereo protection of a curved sand ripple that may be noticed from orbit. A ChemCam Passive statement will accumulate supplementary information on a pebble that used to be studied prior to now the use of ChemCam LIBS. Further ChemCam LIBS measurements and related Mastcam documentation photographs will likely be received on bedrock objectives “Tong Saltings” and “Stack of Handa.” A 3rd Mastcam documentation symbol of the Zechstein drill hollow will likely be used to observe wind-driven adjustments within the drill tailings. The rover will even accumulate a collection of environmental Navcam observations together with mud satan, suprahorizon, and zenith motion pictures, in addition to a line-of-sight symbol for learning atmospheric mud ranges. Even with the entire actions deliberate over the following two sols, the rover is projected to have sufficient power coming into the plan on Friday for any other complete weekend of science!