On 1 November, NASA's Mars rover Curiosity completed a short drive (or a bump) on the surface of the Red Planet, Curiosity's first drive since sol 2166 (mid-September 2018). The short trip placed the rover a few feet away from its previous location where the Curiosity team had planned the rover to attempt a drill, before the rover experienced a glitch in September.
That glitch had hindered the six-wheeled rover's ability to transmit the data stored in its memory back to NASA staff on Earth. However, the rover was still sending the real-time data without any issue.
After initial investigation, the Curiosity team decided to swap Curiosity's active computer with the one that the rover had originally used in 2012 at the time of landing on the Red Planet.
Before Curiosity developed the anomaly, it had commenced a drill campaign at ‘Inverness' - a rock in the centre of its workspace. The goal was to bore into the rock to retrieve a sample for further study. However, the drill campaign was abandoned half-way due to the anomaly.
In October, NASA team announced that Curiosity was ready to resume limited science operations. The rover then sent a few pictures from its current location on Mars. Earlier this month, NASA said the robot has resumed its science operations.
Now that Curiosity's break from scientific operations is over, the team wants the rover to continue from where it had left before the glitch developed.
After completing several diagnostic activities to enable the NASA team to better understand the nature of Curiosity's IT problems, Curiosity's team used ChemCam and Mastcam instruments to make new observations of bedrock targets ‘Dryden' and ‘Kirkness' over the weekend, and Housay, a vein within the bedrock.
Mastcam will also observe ‘Eynhallow' to enable scientists study laminations within the Martian bedrock. Following that, Curiosity will be directed to investigate ‘Calgary', a gray bedrock, and ‘Findon'.
Curiosity will then be driven in the direction of the Lake Orcadie area where, next week, it will drill to retrieve rock samples.
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