[meteorite-list] MRO Spies Curiosity Mars Rover Near Martian Butte

From: Ron Baalke <baalke_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Wed, 16 Apr 2014 17:10:14 -0700 (PDT)
Message-ID: <201404170010.s3H0AEjA024787_at_zagami.jpl.nasa.gov>


NASA Mars Orbiter Spies Rover Near Martian Butte
Jet Propulsion Laboratory
April 16, 2014

Scientists using NASA's Curiosity Mars rover are eyeing a rock layer surrounding
the base of a small butte, called "Mount Remarkable," as a target for
investigating with tools on the rover's robotic arm.

The rover works near this butte in an image taken on April 11 by the High
Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance
Orbiter. It is available at:


A rover's-eye view of Mount Remarkable and surroundings as seen from Curiosity's
position in that HiRISE image is available in a mosaic of images from
Curiosity's Navigation Camera (Navcam), at:


The butte stands about 16 feet (5 meters) high. Curiosity's science team
refers to the rock layer surrounding the base of Mount Remarkable as the
"middle unit" because its location is intermediate between rocks that
form buttes in the area and lower-lying rocks that show a pattern of striations.

Depending on what the mission scientists learn from a close-up look at
the rock and identification of chemical elements in it, a site on this
middle unit may become the third rock that Curiosity samples with its
drill. The rover carries laboratory instruments to analyze rock powder
collected by the drill. The mission's first two drilled samples, in an
area called Yellowknife Bay near Curiosity's landing site, yielded evidence
last year for an ancient lakebed environment with available energy and
ingredients favorable for microbial life.

The rover's current location, where multiple types of rocks are exposed
close together, is called "the Kimberley." Here and, later, at outcrops
on the slope of Mount Sharp inside Gale Crater, researchers plan to use
Curiosity's science instruments to learn more about habitable past conditions
and environmental changes.

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of Caltech in Pasadena, manages
the Mars Science Laboratory Project for NASA's Science Mission Directorate,
Washington. The project designed and built Curiosity and operates the
rover on Mars.

For more information about Curiosity, visit http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/msl
, http://www.nasa.gov/msl and http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msl/. You can follow
the mission on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/marscuriosity and on
Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/marscuriosity.

Guy Webster 818-354-6278
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.
guy.webster at jpl.nasa.gov

Received on Wed 16 Apr 2014 08:10:14 PM PDT

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