NASA's Mars Exploration Program (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS)
Sol 3208: Martian Superstition
The images for panorama obtained by the rover's 34-millimeter Mast Camera. The mosaic, which stretches about 30,000 pixels width, includes 129 images taken on Sol 3208 (August 14, 2021).
On Earth, there are superstitions that Friday the 13th is a day of bad luck. On Mars today, the Curiosity rover team got word that the rover’s drive had come up shorter than expected and that minor delays with software tools were complicating plans. So, to those who believe in the lore surrounding Friday the 13th, this may have seemed like an inevitable string of bad luck beyond our control. But to the rover team, this just looked like a regular day on Mars. Remote exploration of another planet is hard, and the team is often confronted with unforeseen challenges that require us to think on our feet and come up with innovative solutions. Today, the engineers and scientists on shift adapted quickly and succeeded in planning a full weekend of rover activities. One the first sol of the plan the team scheduled a dedicated ChemCam Passive Sky observation that will be used to characterize local environmental conditions. The later sols in the plan will also include atmospheric activities including background DAN and REMS measurements and Mastcam images used to characterize dust opacity. The NCAM will also be used to acquire cloud movies, dust devil observations, a “line-of-sight” image, and a zenith movie. The second and third sol of the plan will include a large set of remote science and contact science activities. A prominent vein feature called “White Caterthuns” will be targeted with ChemCam LIBS and documented with a Mastcam mosaic. A second Mastcam mosaic will be acquired on bedrock target “Balliol.” ChemCam will also target another piece of bedrock called “Brown Caterthuns.” Two small “blue” float rocks called “Inaccessible Pinnacle” and "Kilmaluag" (shown in the image above) will be investigated further with MAHLI, APXS, and Mastcam multispectral data. Lastly, the rover will acquire some additional imaging of our current location through a long distance RMI mosaic of a distant rock outcrop and a Mastcam 360° mosaic. Barring any additional bouts of bad luck, the rover is geared up for a productive weekend on Mars. Fingers-crossed things will go smoothly but, as always, the team is prepared to handle any obstacles that await us.
Planetary Geologist at Johns Hopkins University
Other panoramas of Mars by Curiosity rover:
The planet Earth has proven to be too limiting for our awesome community of panorama photographers. We're getting an increasing number of submissions that depict locations either not on Earth (like Mars, the Moon, and Outer Space in general) or do not realistically represent a geographic location on Earth (either because they have too many special effects or are computer generated) and hence don't strictly qualify for our Panoramic World project.But many of these panoramas are extremely beautiful or popular of both.So, in order to accommodate our esteemed photographers and the huge audience that they attract to 360Cities with their panoramas, we've created a new section (we call it an "area") called "Out of this World" for panoramas like these.Don't let the fact that these panoramas are being placed at the Earth's South Pole fool you - we had to put them somewhere in order not to interfere with our Panoramic World.Welcome aboard on a journey "Out of this World".