August 7: Curiosity Gets More Looks at its Surroundings; Health Checks Continue
Curiosity is healthy as it continues to familiarize itself with its new home in Gale Crater and check out its systems. The team’s plans for Curiosity checkout today included raising the rover’s mast and continued testing of its high-gain antenna, whose pointing toward Earth will be adjusted on Sol 2. Science data were collected from Curiosity’s Radiation Assessment Detector, and activities were performed with the Rover Environmental Monitoring Station instrument. Curiosity transmitted its first color image from the surface of Mars, from the Mars Hand Lens Imager, or MAHLI, showing part of the north rim of Gale Crater. Additional calibration images were received from Curiosity’s Navcam and Mastcam. All systems are go for deployment of the rover’s remote sensing mast on Sol 2, followed by a 360-degree pan by the rover’s Navcam. The Mastcam will also be calibrated against a target image on the rover. NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter returned a spectacular image of Curiosity’s landing site, depicting the rover, parachute, back shell, heat shield and descent stage. Data were received from both NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and Mars Odyssey.