Curiosity update: Closing time

mars-sunset-msl-curiosity-martian-sky-pia194001Sol 1756, July 14, 2017, update by MSL scientist Michelle Minitti: Today marked the last chance for us to reliably command Curiosity before she, and Mars, disappear behind the Sun for about three weeks. This made today’s planning feel as if the Sun were setting on our normally active rover activities, akin to this Martian sunset image from 2015.

MAHLI, APXS and ChemCam were already stored safely for the upcoming conjunction nap, leaving Mastcam and MARDI to collect a few last bits of science data for the GEO group. Mastcam acquired mosaics of the “Vera Rubin Ridge” above and in front of the rover, and of the workspace in front of the rover. Both mosaics not only inform us about the rocks around us, they will be used to plan activities right after we return from conjunction.

Mastcam and MARDI will acquire images on sols 1757 and 1758 to look for wind-induced changes in the sands around the rover. These change detection images complement similar change detection images acquired at previous sand stops, revealing the dynamic nature of Mars. After imaging on Sol 1758, Mastcam will home her focus mechanisms and settle in for a well-deserved break… [More at link]

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