How Curiosity is keeping itself entertained on Mars over the long weekend – Digital Trends

How Curiosity is keeping itself entertained on Mars over the long weekend – Digital Trends


It might perchance perchance well be a prolonged weekend within the U.S., but on Mars, the Curiosity rover doesn’t fetch holidays off.
Generally, the Curiosity group will blueprint out the complete rover’s activities over the weekend, then leave the rover to assemble those plans while they raise a richly deserved weekend wreck. The time for the rover is planned out in “sols,” or Martian solar days, that are only a splash longer than an Earth day, at 24 hours, 39 minutes, 35 seconds prolonged.
The group will usually blueprint out 3-sol weekends for Curiosity, but as this weekend is a vacation they desired to blueprint out 5 sols of activity for the rover. “To give the (American) Earthlings a vacation on Friday, we planned 5 sols of activities for Curiosity nowadays,” NASA scientists wrote in a blog put up. “Nevertheless our rover will absolutely no longer be taking any days off, with a combine of science and engineering activities over the prolonged weekend.”
This deliver was as soon as taken by Rear Hazard Avoidance Camera (Rear Hazcam) onboard NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity on Sol 2809. NASA/JPL-CaltechOne necessary task for Curiosity this weekend is the updating of the rover computer’s flight instrument as half of routine instrument updates. Even on Mars, instrument needs to be continually updated. One day of those updates, the rover can’t make science operations. So these responsibilities will soak up the first and final sol of the 5-sol duration. Instrument updates will likely be outmoded so as to add new functionalities to the rover and plan enhancements in its methods corresponding to by tweaking its autonomous riding capabilities.
Without tell physical fetch entry to to the rover for years and even decades, the scientists want to plan the fully expend of those instrument updates to preserve up the mission going for so prolonged as that you might perchance teach. In 2013, a instrument update was as soon as even in a group to set Curiosity’s veteran-down wheels by the utilization of a traction adjust algorithm to regulate the wheels’ toddle and orientation to lower set up on and toughen traction.
Sols 2805-2809: Entrance hazard (FHAZ) deliver from our unique workspace, taking a leer aid up in direction of “Bloodstone Hill.” NASA/JPL-CaltechIn the time no longer spent performing instrument updates, Curiosity will be performing a agenda of faraway sensing science, including the utilization of its ChemCam and Mastcam instruments to compare the nearby rock atmosphere for the geology theme neighborhood, recognized as GEO.
It will likely be currently the dusty season on Mars, where the wind picks up exiguous particles which quilt most surfaces. “The quantity of mud within the atmosphere has been rising over the final 2 weeks, even though it’s far mild within conventional values for the season above Gale Crater,” the NASA scientists wrote. Nevertheless they’ll be keeping an ogle on the weather and taking a leer out for mud devils so they’ll bear come warning for any storms establishing.

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