NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity is on extended auto-pilot for the holiday1 min read

NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity is on extended auto-pilot for the holidays, surveying site known as “Grandma’s House.”

6a00d8341bf67c53ef017c35054c72970b-320wiWith most of its ground control team taking time off this week, Curiosity was loaded up with operating instructions for 11 days, NASA said in a video update posted on its website.

Scientists will be reviewing Curiosity’s surveys and science data to look for a suitable rock to test the rover’s drill for the first time.


Curiosity landed inside an ancient crater near the planet’s equator on Aug. 6 for a two-year mission to determine if Mars has or ever had the ingredients and environments to support and preserve microbial life.

The extended auto-pilot is a good test for a two-week period in April when the sun is between Earth and Mars, blocking radio contact between ground controllers and the rover, said Colette Lohr, a rover communications lead at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif.

At “Grandma’s House,” which is within the shallow depression known as “Yellowknife Bay,” Curiosity is due to acquire a 360-degree panorama.

Source: Discovery News

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Sebastien Clarke
Sebastien Clarke

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