NASA Curiosity Rover’s Scientific Stopover in Mars’ Jau Crater Cluster

NASA Mars Rover Curiosity Sol 3897

This image was taken by Left Navigation Camera onboard NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity on Sol 3897 (2023-07-24 07:34:25 UTC). Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

NASA’s Mars Curiosity Rover continues its exploration of the Jau crater cluster. The rover’s instruments are actively studying a rock named ‘Mamore,’ while also imaging two nearby craters and a distant rock, ‘Triunfo.’ The Environmental Monitoring Station (ENV) is assessing the Martian atmosphere for dust levels and signs of dust devils, before the rover resumes its journey towards more potential discoveries.

The Sol 3897 single sol plan takes us further into our road trip through the Jau crater cluster. Like any road trip, we’re taking frequent stops to take in the sights, and at this spot, Curiosity gets to stretch its arm with a touch and go. It reminds me of being on family road trips with my geologist father – we were always pulling over to look at cool rocks!

The image above shows one of today’s cool rocks. APXS and MAHLI are both investigating the bumpy, ridged surface on the side nearest the rover, a target named ‘Mamore,’ backed up with Mastcam images. ChemCam is also looking at this surface, particularly one of the ridges called ‘Jacunda.’ Slightly further afield, Mastcam is also looking at two of the craters in the cluster and a distant rock ‘Triunfo.’ ChemCam is also taking a long-distance mosaic of the Gediz Vallis ridge.

ENV is also taking the chance to have a look around. We’re looking back over our metaphorical shoulder at a sand sheet for dust devils, and up towards the sun to see how much dust is in the atmosphere. After our brief and productive stop, it’s time for us to hit the road again, knowing that there are always more exciting sights ahead.

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