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MARSDAILY
NASA Mars Rover's View of Possible Westward Route
by Staff Writers
Pasadena CA (JPL) Feb 04, 2014


This mosaic of images from the Navigation Camera (Navcam) on NASA's Mars rover Curiosity shows the terrain to the west from the rover's position on the 528th Martian day, or sol, of the mission (Jan. 30, 2014). Image courtesy NASA/JPL-Caltech. For a larger version of this image please go here.

NASA's Curiosity Mars rover reached the edge of a dune on Jan. 30 and photographed the valley on the other side, to aid assessment of whether to cross the dune.

Curiosity is on a southwestward traverse of many months from an area where it found evidence of ancient conditions favorable for microbial life to its long-term science destination on the lower slopes of Mount Sharp.

Based on analysis of images taken from orbit by NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, a location dubbed "Dingo Gap" was assessed as a possible gateway to a favorable route for the next portion of the traverse.

A dune across Dingo Gap is about 3 feet (1 meter) high, tapered off at both sides of the gap between two low scarps. Curiosity reached the eastern side of the dune on Jan. 30 and returned images that the rover team is using to guide decisions about upcoming drives.

NASA's Mars Science Laboratory Project is using Curiosity to assess ancient habitable environments and major changes in Martian environmental conditions. JPL, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, built the rover and manages the project for NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington.

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MARSDAILY
Curiosity Mars Rover Checking Possible Smoother Route
Pasadena CA (JPL) Jan 31, 2014
The team operating NASA's Mars rover Curiosity is considering a path across a small sand dune to reach a favorable route to science destinations. A favorable route would skirt some terrain with sharp rocks considered more likely to poke holes in the rover's aluminum wheels. While the team has been assessing ways to reduce wear and tear to the wheels, Curiosity has made progress towar ... read more


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