Space

Curiosity Mars Rover: “Vuggy” Inspection


Curiosity Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) picture produced on Sol 3427, March 28, 2022.
Credit score: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover at Gale Crater is now performing Sol 3428 duties.

“Sadly, our weekend drive stalled, so this morning we discovered ourselves nonetheless at Friday’s workspace,” stories Catherine O’Connell-Cooper, a planetary geologist at College of New Brunswick; Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada.

“Happily, it was an understood concern… and this was a superb place to spend some further time and fill our science glass with superb information! This workspace (“Hartle Loup”) has examples of various textures, bands of “vuggy” (little holes or pits), materials and smoother materials.

Mastcam picture taken on Sol 3419 exhibiting totally different textures at “Hartle Loup.”
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

Laborious decisions

Final Friday, the Alpha Particle X-Ray Spectrometer (APXS) and Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) needed to make some exhausting decisions between all the specified targets, and scientists opted to characterize some “vuggy” targets however had been unable to additionally get the “easy” targets.

“So, in a way, the drive stall labored in our favor,” O’Connell-Cooper provides, permitting scientists to get three “easy” targets. APXS and MAHLI was scheduled to research “Broadfell” and a brushed goal “Venlaw,” while the rover’s Chemistry and Digicam (ChemCam) will use Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS) to focus on “Cleveland.”

Curiosity Mast Digicam Proper picture taken on Sol 3425, March 26, 2022.
Credit score: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

Mastcam was slated to take multispectral imagery (an additional instrument to assist perceive composition, typically used for brushed targets) of Venlaw and researchers had been ready so as to add a bonus multispectral picture of the weekend Mud Removing Instrument (DRT) goal (“Donkey Path”) which researchers didn’t have time for on Friday.

Curiosity Entrance Hazard Avoidance Left B Digicam picture taken on Sol 3427, March 28, 2022.
Credit score: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Overlapping pictures

MAHLI took the chance to slide in a six picture mosaic (sequence of overlapping pictures) trying on the interplay between the 2 textures. ChemCam will even look at “Bowder Stone,” a bedrock goal that was damaged up by the rover’s wheels final week, O’Connell-Cooper stories.

Curiosity Rear Hazard Avoidance Proper B Digicam picture acquired on Sol 3427, March 28, 2022.
Credit score: NASA/JPL-Caltech

“Mastcam has, as at all times, a really busy plan,” O’Connell-Cooper notes. It can doc the ChemCam targets from the scripted plan, get better a picture from the weekend on “Burn Mouth” which didn’t full and get some extra pictures of the pediment panorama.

Curiosity Chemistry & Digicam (ChemCam) Distant Micro-Imager (RMI) Sol 3426 March 27, 2022
Credit score: NASA/JPL-Caltech/LANL

 

 

Drive path

“Mastcam will even assist the environmental group in monitoring mud concentrations within the air, acquiring a crater rim extinction statement and a fundamental ‘tau’ measurement, each of that are used to find out how a lot mud is the environment,” O’Connell-Cooper factors out.

“As soon as we end getting all this pretty bonus science at Hartle Loup, we’ll proceed on our manner, following the identical drive path as we had deliberate to take over the weekend,” says O’Connell-Cooper.

Curiosity Mast Digicam Left picture taken on Sol 3424, March 25, 2022.
Credit score: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

Vuggy rock

In an earlier report, Scott Guzewich, an atmospheric scientist at NASA’s Goddard House Flight Heart, identified that vuggy rock within the “Hartle Loup” outcrop appeared significantly distinctive relative to the opposite rocks on the Greenheugh Pediment that scientists have seen to-date.

Along with the contact science, Curiosity continued the trouble to picture as a lot of the Greenheugh Pediment and Gediz Vallis Ridge as potential from the rover’s location with Mastcam and the ChemCam Distant Micro-Imager (RMI).

“We’ll seemingly by no means have this angle on this portion of these options, so we’re being very thorough with our imaging,” Guzewich provides.

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