Sunday, July 17, 2022

NASA's Mars Curiosity Rover: Views of A Large & Unique Boulder | JPL

NASA's Mars Curiosity Rover: Views of A Large & Unique Boulder | JPL

MSL - sol 3532 - Mastcam
NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS/Kevin M. Gill
MSL - sol 3532 - Mastcam
NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS/Kevin M. Gill

MSL - sol 3533 - NavRight
NASA/JPL-Caltech/Kevin M. Gill

MSL - sol 3534 - MAHLI

NASA/JPL-Caltech/Kevin M. Gill

MSL - sol 3531 - Left NavCam 
MSL - sol 3534 - Mastcam
NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS/Kevin M. Gill

Curiosity Rover Update for July 13, 2022: Sols 3532-3533

A Rover-Sized Boulder

Written by Lauren Edgar, Planetary Geologist at USGS Astrogeology Science Center

"Curiosity is back on the road, but some interesting boulders caught our attention and led to a short detour. The team was already planning to divert to the southwest to get some imaging of nearby cliffs, but the large boulders that have tumbled down provide a tantalizing glimpse of what’s to come. Boulders like the large one shown in the above Navcam image (now named “Ilha Novo Destino”) can help inform our understanding of the upcoming stratigraphy, so we thought it was worth a trip to this “new island destination” for the weekend."

"But first, there’s plenty of science to be done in our workspace before we get to the boulders. Today’s two-sol plan focused on DRT, MAHLI, and APXS on the bedrock right in front of the rover, including the interesting vein and fracture patterns shown in the foreground of the above Navcam image. Today we planned 3 MAHLI imaging targets and 2 APXS targets to assess the sedimentary textures and composition of bedrock and veins. We also planned ChemCam LIBS and Mastcam multispectral observations to further characterize this outcrop. Mastcam will also be used to document the field of boulders to help plan weekend activities, and ChemCam will acquire a long distance RMI mosaic to characterize the stratigraphy. The ENV theme group planned several environmental monitoring activities to search for dust devils and monitor dust and clouds in the atmosphere. On the second sol, Curiosity will drive to a parking spot right in front of these boulders to prepare for the weekend plan. Can’t wait to see this rover-sized boulder up close!"

Mission Name: Mars Science Laboratory (MSL)

Rover Name: Curiosity

Main Job: To determine if Mars was ever habitable to microbial life. 

Launch: Nov. 6, 2011

Landing Date: Aug. 5, 2012, Gale Crater, Mars

For more information on NASA's Mars missions, visit:

Image Release Dates: July 8-17, 2022

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