Curiosity Engineers, Scientists Getting Needed Time Off With Solar Conjunction

Curiosity Engineers, Scientists Getting Needed Time Off With Solar Conjunction. The Pasadena (CA) Star-News (4/5, Figueroa) reports how the Curiosity rover is now “operating under a stored set of commands” until May 1 because of a solar conjunction. Kimberly Lichtenberg, system engineer for the Curiosity’s Sample Analysis at Mars instrument, said, “Everything that the rover needs to know about when to talk to the orbiters is already on the spacecraft.” Engineers and scientists will now have “some much-needed vacation” as well, but will spend some time updating tools and training as well as reviewing data already collected. The article notes the rover so far has “exceeded expectations”