Mars, Curiosity, 3446-3448 day: Busy these days

(ORDO NEWS) — Due to the difficult terrain, the last trip of the rover was about ten meters from the target. The unexpected orientation of the rover after stopping, unfortunately, will not allow us to establish the usual direct connection with the Earth.

Instead, we will be able to transmit commands for these days via one of the orbiters on Mars, but a little later than planned.

As a result, today’s plan had to be adjusted accordingly. Long plans usually include three scientific days, but all events were supposed to take place only on the second and third days.

Fortunately, the main target science block on the second day was extended from one hour to two hours, allowing enough time for data collection at that location before leaving.

This block was populated with a remote science activity to characterize the sand and rocks in the rover workspace. It is planned to work with ChemCam LIBS tools on the Easter Skeld rock, as well as to create two photo mosaics of the remote Gediz Vallis ridge.

Three stereo mosaics will be made by the Mastcam to characterize some of the nearby sand ripples and to expand coverage of interesting sedimentary textures at the Lugar Rock target.

Mastcam camerawill also be used to re-survey the wheel tracks the rover made during its initial walk around the area over a month ago (shown in the image above) to look for any wind-induced changes in the tracks.

These days, the rover will also collect a large amount of data on current environmental conditions. The team planned a series of three Mastcam tau (search for dust in the atmosphere), Mastcamcrater rims (dust in the horizon) and a Navcam “Line of Sight” image that will be used to quantify the amount of dust in the atmosphere.

Four Navcam videos will also be made to help characterize cloud movement. So while today’s plan doesn’t go well for Mars, the rover is still busy with work!

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