For the overall context of Curiosity’s travels, see Pinpointing Curiosity’s location in Gale Crater.
Since my last update in January, Curiosity done more or less what I predicted. It headed southwest through the dune area and then made a side trip to the small mesa there, dubbed Ireson Hill by the Curiosity science team and shown on the right. They then made an additional side trip past the hill to get a close look a the large sandy dune field beyond, also shown on the right. After getting some nice closeups as well as scooping up some sand for observation, they have now gone back to Ireson Hill to get another close look at the dark rocks that have rolled off the top of the hill and are now in reach at its base. The image on the left shows the arm positioned above one of those rocks.
The drill remains out of commission, with no word when they will try using it again. In addition, there had been a problem with the ChemCam laser that does spectroscopic analysis, but as of this week it is back in action, and is being used to analysis the small rock above.
Below is an overview of their route so far as well as my annotations on where I think they will be heading in the future.
You can see that the color of the terrain changes in the image’s lower right corner. That is when they will be getting close to the lower foothills shown in the second image of my January update. From this point, Curiosity’s journey will finally be entering the mountainous terrain of Mount Sharp. From then on the view should be quite spectacular, and endlessly changing.
For the overall context of Opportunity’s travels at Endeavour Crater, see Opportunity’s future travels on Mars.
Since my January update Opportunity continued its slow climb out of the interior rim of Endeavour Crater, and has apparently now reached the rim’s outer edge. Below is the most recent traverse map, annotated to show my estimate of the more recent route as well as where I think the panorama below that is looking.
On Sol 4642 took an additional set of images showing a more detailed panorama looking to the southwest. The image below shows this new panorama, cropped and rotated by me to place the horizon level. It looks at the area above the bright patch in the leftmost image of the panorama above. Once out on the flats beyond the crater rim they will be heading south into this terrain. The plan is to skirt the outside edge of Endeavour Crater’s rim until they reach the meandering gully inside that rim, still to the south and outside the frame on the overhead image above.
Now available in hardback and paperback as well as ebook!
From the press release: In this ground-breaking new history of early America, historian Robert Zimmerman not only exposes the lie behind The New York Times 1619 Project that falsely claims slavery is central to the history of the United States, he also provides profound lessons about the nature of human societies, lessons important for Americans today as well as for all future settlers on Mars and elsewhere in space.
Conscious Choice: The origins of slavery in America and why it matters today and for our future in outer space, is a riveting page-turning story that documents how slavery slowly became pervasive in the southern British colonies of North America, colonies founded by a people and culture that not only did not allow slavery but in every way were hostile to the practice.
Conscious Choice does more however. In telling the tragic history of the Virginia colony and the rise of slavery there, Zimmerman lays out the proper path for creating healthy societies in places like the Moon and Mars.
“Zimmerman’s ground-breaking history provides every future generation the basic framework for establishing new societies on other worlds. We would be wise to heed what he says.” —Robert Zubrin, founder of founder of the Mars Society.
All editions are available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and all book vendors, with the ebook priced at $5.99 before discount. The ebook can also be purchased direct from my ebook publisher, ebookit, in which case you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner.
Autographed printed copies are also available at discount directly from me (hardback $24.95; paperback $14.95; Shipping cost for either: $5.00). Just email me at zimmerman @ nasw dot org.