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Sols 4144-4145: ‘Fools on the Hill’

This image was taken by Left Navigation Camera onboard NASA's Mars rover Curiosity on Sol 4142 (2024-03-31 22:13:27 UTC).
This image is of our workspace at rocky mound named Hinman Col taken by Left Navigation Camera onboard NASA's Mars rover Curiosity on Sol 4142 (2024-03-31 22:13:27 UTC). 

Earth planning date: Monday, April 1, 2024

All went well over the weekend for Curiosity, and we came in this morning to find our wheels securely placed on the base of the Hinman Col mound. Even though we only drove ~4 meters, the science team was ablaze with science requests to start off this week of planning. Our battery state of charge was in great shape, too, and the uplink team went to work! It was a swift day with not a lot of time to breathe, let alone make an April Fools joke.

We start off this two-sol plan with an early arm backbone for APXS to take measurements as cold as possible on a rubbly rock target named “Bodie.” ChemCam also prefers cooler temperatures for data quality and instrument performance, so after APXS is done the arm is placed out of the way for ChemCam to shoot their laser on another workspace block named “Crystal Crag.” Mastcam likes to take advantage of noon-ish lighting, and follows with over 170 images of the terrain in about 45 minutes. By this time, the sun is in a good spot for MAHLI lighting during their 25 cm and 5 cm stereo images of Bodie. And then, before even taking a nap, we are driving away from Hinman Col and into the next phase of our adventure.

The second sol of this plan includes our usual in-the-blind activities like a ChemCam LIBS decided by the rover software, Navcam dust devil movies, and the standard DAN passive measurements. Bye, Hinman Col! On Wednesday, Mastcam will take a mosaic to show what it looks like from the other side.

Written by Natalie Moore, Mission Operations Specialist at Malin Space Science Systems