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Curiosity Mission Updates

NASA's Mars rover Curiosity acquired this image using its Left Navigation Camera (Navcams) on Sol 1696 Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

The road to Vera Rubin Ridge, a feature believed to be enriched in the mineral hematite, is getting steeper, so we are stopping frequently to study the composition of the bedrock beneath our wheels. Our intention is to use the APXS and ChemCam instruments to analyze the bedrock for every 5 meters of vertical elevation gain to see how it may change as we climb toward Vera Rubin Ridge. And we are climbing fast on many of our drives now!

Today I was the Environmental Science Theme Group Lead as we planned Sols 1698 and 1699. Our first activity was a "Touch and Go", where we used APXS and MAHLI to study the bedrock (today at a location called "Woodland Ledge", in the lower right corner of the image) before driving ~50 meters southeastward to our next destination. We also targeted ChemCam and Mastcam to some nearby interesting rock targets named "Spurling Rock", "Grindstone Ledge", and "Knight Nubble".

Following the drive on Sol 1698, we will have a post-drive DAN active measurement and the 3rd set of Mastcam atmospheric observations on this sol. Having multiple measurements in a single sol helps us understand how amounts of atmospheric clouds and dust vary between morning, afternoon, and evening. On Sol 1699 we're planning untargeted science including a ChemCam AEGIS activity and a Navcam dust devil survey image sequence.

About this Blog
These blog updates are provided by self-selected Mars Science Laboratory mission team members who love to share what Curiosity is doing with the public.

Dates of planned rover activities described in these reports are subject to change due to a variety of factors related to the Martian environment, communication relays and rover status.

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Tools on the
Curiosity Rover
The Curiosity rover has tools to study clues about past and present environmental conditions on Mars, including whether conditions have ever been favorable for microbial life. The rover carries:

Cameras

Spectrometers

Radiation Detectors

Environmental Sensors

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