Friday, August 17, 2012

First Science Target: Glenelg

  NASA hosted another press teleconference today with two members of the science team. Dr Grotzinger is the MSL project scientist and mentioned that the first scientific objective of the mission will involve a traverse to Glenelg to the east of Curiosity's present position. Roger Wiens will be testing the ChemCam in the next week. It's laser will "zap" a rock designated N165. During the conference Emily Lakdawalla asked about a vista opportunity along the way and Dr Grotzinger said they could do that. Google Mars' elevation profile for the traverse shows a change which is a little more than the few meters stated. The greatest slope is about 25% or 14° at the Glenelg site which is within the 30° limit set for Curiosity. The rover drivers may need to be on guard against slippery slopes. A surface polished smooth by grit in the wind and some rounded pebbles may pose a hazardous condition for the rover.

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