On Sol 35 of its mission on Mars (Sept. 10, 2012) Curiosity continued activities for characterizing its arm and the tools on the arm. The Alpha Particle X-Ray Spectrometer (APXS) completed a reading of the chemical ingredients in the instrument's calibration target. Then the arm moved the spectrometer away from the target and maneuvered to the arm's "ready out" position (http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA16147). The Dynamic Albedo of Neutrons (DAN) instrument, mounted near the rear of the rover, was given commands for a nearly six-hour reading after the Mars-afternoon communications pass by NASA's Mars Odyssey orbiter. DAN is used to check whether the ground under the rover holds hydrated minerals, which have water molecules or water-related ions bound into the mineral's crystalline structure.
Mars Rover Curiosity in Artist's Concept, Close-up
This artist concept features NASA's Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover,
Curiosity continues to work in good health. Sol 35, in Mars local mean solar time at Gale Crater, ended at 6:35 a.m. Sept. 11, PDT.