Curiosity's left-front and left-center wheels on Mars

This view of Curiosity’s left-front and left-center wheels and of marks made by wheels on the ground in the “Yellowknife Bay” area comes from one of six cameras used on Mars for the first time more than six months after the rover landed. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

PASADENA, Calif. – NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity has resumed science investigations after recovery from a computer glitch that prompted the engineers to switch the rover to a redundant main computer on Feb. 28.

The rover has been monitoring the weather since March 21 and delivered a new portion of powdered-rock sample for laboratory analysis on March 23, among other activities.

“We are back to full science operations,” said Curiosity Deputy Project Manager Jim Erickson of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.

The powder delivered on Saturday came from the rover’s first full drilling into a rock to collect a sample. The new portion went into the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument inside the rover, which began analyzing this material and had previously analyzed other portions from the same drilling. SAM can analyze samples in several different ways, so multiple portions from the same drilling are useful.

The Rover Environmental Monitoring Station (REMS) is recording weather variables. The Radiation Assessment Detector (RAD) is checking the natural radiation environment at the rover’s location inside Gale Crater.

 

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