NASA gave its final Curiosity mission briefing of the week Friday, going over in more detail some aspects of the rover’s landing on Mars and mapping out its next four days, which will be spent installing software that the robot will need to drive around and explore the planet.
The software upgrade means the rover won’t be doing any science over the next four sols, or Martian days, but will keep transmitting more of the data it collected during its high-speed landing on the planet Sunday night, NASA said.
MARS PANORAMA Curiosity’s 360-degree view
The space agency said it has only a small fraction of the data so far and hopes as more arrives on Earth it will continue to get a clearer picture of how the rover’s landing compares with the predictions and models NASA spent years devising for the mission.
Now that the entry, descent and landing phases are complete, NASA programmers can shut down certain software applications needed for those activities, freeing up room for the programs the rover needs to move and explore the surface of Mars.