NASA's Mars Exploration Program (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS)
Sol 901: Long weekend, long plan!
The images for panorama obtained by the rover's 34-millimeter Mast Camera. The mosaic, which stretches about 30,000 pixels width, includes 141 images taken on Sol 901 (February 17, 2015).
Today we planned 4 sols to take the rover through President’s day weekend. We humans get a long weekend, but the rover has a lot of work to do! We were supposed to drive about 45 meters in the previous plan, but the data received this morning showed that the rover stopped after only 17 meters. I was on duty as the ChemCam science Payload Uplink Lead (sPUL) today, and in the science theme group meeting we were worried that the short drive would cause a major change in the plan, but it turned out not to be a problem. The rover drivers understand why the rover stopped early and had no concerns about simply continuing the drive in today’s plan. Even better, there was enough room in the plan to do the drive without changing how much time we had to do science! The location where the rover stopped was mostly flat bedrock and large sand ripples: not where we planned to stop, but still plenty of science to do. On sol 899, ChemCam will analyze the target "Osiris" and on Sol 900 ChemCam will analyze "Garley." Both of these targets are patches of bedrock, so the chemistry data, when combined with the many other observations of bedrock over the last few weeks and months, will help understand how the rocks change throughout the stratigraphic section. Mastcam has an 8x3 mosaic of Osiris on Sol 899, which seems to have some fine layering that is barely visible in Navcam. On sol 900 Mastcam also will take a documentation image of Garley, a 2x2 mosaic of a layered rock near the rover called "Sneakover" (because it was snuck into the plan at the last minute), and a 2x2 mosaic of "Hermosa," where the rover tracks cross a sand ripple. On sol 901, ChemCam will make some passive (no laser) measurements of the sky, and then Curiosity will resume the drive that was cut short. After the drive, we have standard imaging to get our bearings, plus a Mastcam 360 degree mosaic and a Navcam cloud observation. The DAN instrument will do an active measurement after the drive to characterize the amount of light elements (such as the hydrogen in water) under the rover in the new location. And finally, ChemCam will do some routine measurements of the calibration targets. On sol 902, the rover gets a bit of a rest, with just routine environmental measurements by RAD and REMS.
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".