Astrogeology Science Center

Sol 537 -539 Update On Curiosity From USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: Traversing the Dune

7 February 2014

This week the data from MSL have been arriving later and later each day, as expected because Mars' day is about 40 minutes longer than Earth's day. The data arrived so late yesterday that no planning was possible, and now we are back in "restricted" planning. But the data look good, showing that the rover successfully traversed the dune in Dingo Gap. The arm will be deployed (using APXS and MAHLI) on Sol 537 to investigate some interesting veins or minerals filling fractures in front of the rover. ChemCam will search for frost early on the morning of Sol 538, then analyze targets Collett and Mussell along the vein/fracture fill later in the day. Then the rover will be commanded to drive about 40 meters through Dingo Gap and take the usual post-drive images to enable planning on Monday. SAM will use its mass spectrometer to measure the atmosphere overnight, followed by untargeted camera and ChemCam observations on Sol 539. Another busy weekend plan for MSL!