12.13.2016 Now and Long Ago at Gale Crater, Mars
12.13.2016 Where's Boron? Mars Rover Detects It
10.03.2016 Curiosity Self-Portrait at 'Murray Buttes'
10.03.2016 Butte 'M9a' in 'Murray Buttes' on Mars
09.19.2016 Ribbon Cutting
09.09.2016 Farewell to Murray Buttes (Image 5)
09.09.2016 Farewell to Murray Buttes (Image 4)
09.09.2016 Farewell to Murray Buttes (Image 3)
09.09.2016 Farewell to Murray Buttes (Image 2)
09.09.2016 Farewell to Murray Buttes (Image 1)
08.26.2016 Out-of-this-World Records
03.30.2016 Erisa Hines
03.30.2016 Buzz Aldrin
02.12.2016 Women in Science
02.09.2016 Adam Steltzner, a JPL engineer
01.27.2016 Night Close-up of Martian Sand Grains
01.27.2016 Curiosity Self-Portrait at Martian Sand Dune
12.17.2015 Alteration Effects at Gale and Gusev Craters
12.17.2015 Full-Circle View Near 'Marias Pass' on Mars
12.11.2015 Surface Close-up of a Martian Sand Dune
12.11.2015 Martian Sand Disturbed by Rover Wheel
11.24.2015 Carbon Exchange and Loss Processes on Mars
11.17.2015 Chemical Laptop 1
Curiosity Uses X-ray Instrument's Data for Proximity PlacementNASA's Mars rover Curiosity used a new technique, with added autonomy for the rover, in placement of the tool-bearing turret on its robotic arm during the 399th Martian day, or sol, of the mission. This image from the rover's front Hazard Avoidance Camera (Hazcam) on that sol shows the position of the turret during that process, with the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) instrument placed close to the target rock.
The technique, called proximity placement, uses the APXS as if it were a radar for assessing how close the instrument is to a soil or rock surface. The rover can interpret the data and autonomously move the turret closer if it is not yet close enough. This will enable placement of the instrument much closer to soil targets than would have been feasible without risk of touching the sensor head to loose soil or needed extra days of having team members check the data and command arm movement in response.
The location is at "Darwin," inside Gale Crater, where the rover stopped for several days to examine outcrop along the route to Mount Sharp.
Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech