Wheel update on Curiosity


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Periodically, the Curiosity science team stops from its research to reassess the condition of the rover’s wheels. To do this they use the rover’s color camera, dubbed the Mast Camera (Mastcam), taking close-up pictures of the wheels to compare those with earlier photographs see if there has been any additional damage and deterioration over time.

Yesterday Mastcam took a new series of images of the rover’s wheels. Below are two pictures, the left taken on August 27, 2017, the right taken on July 7, 2019. I have annotated the images to help indicate where they match.

Curiosity wheel damage from 2017 to 2019

It appears that there has been a slight amount of new damage, especially in the tread labeled #5.

Looking at the other pictures taken on July 7 and comparing with the 2017 images, I also found what appeared to be more breakage in this 2019 image when compared with a comparable image taken in 2017.

Overall, however, the new damage does not appear significant, considering two years have passed. Their effort to mitigate wheel damage, described in an April 23, 2018 rover team update, seems to be working.

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