Curiosity update: From the south rim of Vera Rubin Ridge

NRB_569898156EDR_F0672764NCAM00282M_-br2Sol 1943, January 22, 2018, update by MSL scientist Roger Wiens: Having spent 1943 sols on the surface of Mars, Curiosity is in its 6th Earth year on Mars, but it is in its 3rd Mars year of exploration. That means Curiosity has encountered this season of the year twice before. Today happens to be calendar Sol 255 of Mars year 34. We’re just a little past the deepest part of winter in the southern hemisphere, where Curiosity roams. On this day in history in Mars year 32 (which happened to be 19-April-2014 on Earth), Curiosity was just arriving at the Kimberley site, where she found manganese-oxide fracture fills and sanidine-rich sediments. And on this day one Mars year ago (6-March-2016), Curiosity was climbing onto the Naukluft Plateau, starting to round the corner after its first encounter with the Bagnold Dunes, and prior to encountering the Murray Buttes. What a journey it has been for this intrepid rover!

Over the weekend Curiosity completed a drive that took her to the very southern edge of Vera Rubin Ridge (VRR), so we have downhill slopes directly in front of and around the side of the rover, though we plan to continue exploring the ridge for a while. The rover team is using the images gleaned over the weekend (like the one shown here) to look for potential geological relationships between VRR and the clay unit that lies south of it. [More at link]

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