Curiosity Spends the Holidays at "Grandma's House" Looking for a Rock to Smash

The rover will continue the work while the NASA team takes a break

By on December 27th, 2012 13:44 GMT

NASA is taking a break during the holidays, but Curiosity isn't. While much of the team will be spending some time off, Curiosity will continue its mission running a pre-scripted sequence of events with only a handful of people monitoring to check whether Curiosity hasn't run amok on Mars without adult supervision.

Curiosity has 11 days of pre-programmed and uploaded activities, so it's going to be busy doing science into the next year.

The rover has recently been driving around checking out some interesting locations. It's now entered an area dubbed Yellowknife Bay, which has a different composition than what Curiosity has been analyzing so far.

During the holidays, Curiosity will spend its time at a place dubbed "Grandma's House."

The next priority is finding a rock to test its drill and analyze. It's not as easy as it seems as there is a danger the rock will melt leaving a viscous material that could damage the sample analysis instruments.

One of the things Curiosity will be doing over the holidays is snapping a 360-degree panorama of its surrounding, in search of the perfect rock. You can be sure that you'll be seeing this panorama here, once the photos make their way back to Earth and are processed.
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