No new photos from Mars Science laboratory. Why?
We have reached Solar Conjunction – this is the time in the planets’ orbits when Mars is obscured from the Earth by the Sun. During this period communications between Mars Science Laboratory and Earth via the orbiters like MRO are very limited. We have parked for conjunction just below the upper surface of Vera Rubin Ridge. Normal science operations work will restart in early August. We will still be recording some environmental data e.g. temperature, but our driving, photographing, Chemcam etc will pause.
We now have a planned route to get us from the Vera Rubin Ridge approach onto the upper surface where the iron oxide (hematite) is predicted by MRO Near Infra Red spectroscopy measurements, to be present.