The mission team also plans to stop at a few places along the way to do some science work. The first of these "waypoints" lies about 0.31 miles (0.5 km) from Curiosity's current location.
"Each waypoint represents an opportunity for Curiosity to pause during its long journey to Mount Sharp and study features of local interest," Curiosity chief scientist John Grotzinger, of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, said in a statement.
"These features are geologically interesting, based on HiRISE images, and they lie very close to the path that provides the most expeditious route to the base of Mount Sharp," Grotzinger added, referring to the HiRISE instrument aboard NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. "We'll study each for several sols [Martian days], perhaps selecting one for drilling if it looks sufficiently interesting."
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