Curiosity Mars Rover to release ‘gator-back’ rocks

Curiosity Mars Rover explores 'Gator-Back' rocks

NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover used its Mast Camera, or Mastcam, to take this 360-degree panorama on March 23, 2022, the 3,423th Martian day, or sol, of the mission. The company did not describe the rocks seen here as “gator-back” because of their scaly nature. Yes: NASA / JPL-Caltech / MSSS

NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover spent most of March climbing the “Greenheugh Pediment” – a gentle cliff covered with rubble. The rover briefly completed this feature to the north two years ago; now on the south side of the pediment, Curiosity once again steered the pediment to be fully alert.

But on March 18, the mission group saw an unexpected change and knew they were going to search: The road before Curiosity was covered with more windy rocks, or more rocks. Ventifacts, more than they had seen in nearly 10 years of the rover. on the Red World.

Ventifacts bit the wheels of Curiosity before the missionary. Since then, rover engineers have found ways to lengthen wheel wear, including a traction control algorithm, to reduce the frequency with which they need to inspect the wheels. They also designed rover tracks to prevent them from flying over the rocks, with these latest ventifacts, made of sand – the hardest rock Curiosity has ever seen on Mars.

The company calls their face like scalelike “gator-back” terrain. Although the missionary explored the area using orbital photographs, it was necessary to see these rocks nearby to show ventifacts.

“It’s clear from the images of Curiosity that this isn’t good for our wheels,” said Curiosity Project Manager Megan Lin of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California, who will lead the mission. “It’s going to be slow, and we can’t do the best of rovering.”

Rock-gator-backs can’t be walked-they don’t have to be walked, considering the difficulty of the road and the age of the rover’s wheels.

So the missionary plans a new route for the rover as he continues to explore Mount Sharp, a 3.4-mile-high (5.5-mile-high) mountain that Curiosity has climbed since last year. 2014. As it rises, Curiosity can be found. study the other sedimentary layers formed by water billions of years ago. These courses help scientists understand the existence of microscopic life on the ancient Martian earth.

Curiosity Mars Rover explores 'Gator-Back' rocks

NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover used its Mast Camera, or Mastcam, to look at these wind -blown rocks, called ventifacts, on March 15, 2022, the 3,415th Martian day, or sol, of the as a missionary. The company did not describe these parts of the ventifacts as “gator-back” stones because of their scaly nature. Yes: NASA / JPL-Caltech / MSSS

Why Greenheugh?

The Greenheugh Pediment is a wide plateau close to the base of Mount Sharp that stretches for about 1.2 miles (2 kilometers). Curiosity scientists first saw it in orbital images before the rover landed in 2012. The pediment stands as a unique feature in this part of Mount Sharp, and the Scientists understand how it works.

He lives near Gediz Vallis Ridge, where it was built when the rubbish flowed down the mountain. Interest continues in the Sharp Mountain range, where the ancient waters and communities inhabited in the past can be seen. Driving about one mile (1.5 kilometers) of the pediment to collect photographs of Gediz Vallis Ridge is a way to learn things from the top of the mountain.

“In the distance, we can see huge rock boulders being taken down from the highlands of Mount Sharp – probably because of the water during Mars’ wet season, ”said Ashwin Vasavada, the Curiosity is a project scientist at JPL. “We don’t know what they are, so we want to see them up close.”

The road did not go

Over the next two weeks, Curiosity will rise from the pediment to where it once sought: a transition between a rich country and one with a lot of salt minerals called sulfates. . Clay minerals were formed when mountains were wet, rivers and lakes were wet; the salts were made when the air on Mars dried up over time.

“It’s great to see rocks that are preserved when lakes dry up and are replaced by rivers and dry sand dunes,” said Abigail Fraeman, Curiosity’s assistant project scientist at JPL. “I’m really excited to see what we get if we continue to climb this different path.”

Curiosity’s wheels are on the ground that it’s safer to leave the back of the ground behind, but engineers are investing in other signs of wearing the rover’s robotic arm, to take measuring his rock drill. The recording machines at both of the handicrafts were completed last year. However, each group has additional pieces to ensure that the hand can continue digging for the rocks. The team is learning the best ways to use the hand to ensure these redundant pieces work as consistently as possible.

The Curiosity Mars rover is looking for a change

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Provided by Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Directions: Curiosity Mars Rover revisits gator-back rocks (2022, April 7) downloaded April 7, 2022 from -curiosity-mars-rover-reroutes-gator-back. html

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