27 April 2016

Sol 1325: Taking it Easy

Sol 1325: Taking it Easy

It’s been a busy few days of drilling and related activities, so the plan for sol 1325 is a pretty simple one to allow the rover’s batteries to recharge. There is a short science block with a ChemCam observation of the drill tailings at “Lubango” along with Mastcam documentation. After that, MAHLI will take a closer look at the targets “Lianshulu” and “Rubikon.” Other than routine environmental monitoring measurements by …

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26 April 2016

Sol 1324: Power-constrained

Sol 1324:  Power-constrained

As expected, the Sol 1323 data we needed for planning today were received later than usual, so tactical planning started 3 hours later than normal.  This makes for a long day, especially for the European members of the MSL operations team.  But the real challenge today is power–the drill-related activities that have been commanded lately require discharging the batteries more deeply than we usually do.  So as SOWG Chair today, …

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Sol 1323: A new drill hole

Sol 1323:  A new drill hole

So far, all of the activities planned for last weekend have completed successfully, and we have a new drill hole on Mars!  The Sol 1323 plan is therefore to continue the Lubango drill campaign, transferring the sample to CHIMRA, sieving it, and delivering some of the <0.15 mm fraction to CheMin.  ChemCam will shoot its laser at “Oshikati,” a potential target for the next drilling campaign, and Mastcam will acquire …

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23 April 2016

Sols 1320-1322: Drilling at Lubango

Sols 1320-1322: Drilling at Lubango

The contact science activities on Sol 1319 went well, and we analyzed another DRT location with MAHLI and APXS.  The drill pre-load test suggested that the Lubango block might have moved slightly, but the RPs feel comfortable to go ahead and drill in the weekend plan. I was on duty as GSTL again today, and it’s always exciting when we get to drill a new sample on Mars.  In addition …

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21 April 2016

Sol 1318: DRT at Lubango

Sol 1318: DRT at Lubango

The bump on Sol 1317 went well, and we’re ready to start our drilling campaign at the “Lubango” fracture zone.  After a lot of discussion this morning, the plan evolved to include contact science at three targets near “Lubango.”  First we’ll use the DRT to clear off a fresh surface.  This DRT location is slightly offset from the intended drill location, so we’ll use MAHLI to image both the DRT …

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19 April 2016

Sol 1317: Preparing to Drill

Sol 1317:  Preparing to Drill

On Sol 1316, Curiosity drove ~15 m back toward the “Lubango” target, which we first observed on Sol 1310.  “Lubango” is a high silica target that sits along a fracture in the Stimson formation.  The team decided to drill near this fracture to better understand both the altered and unaltered Stimson bedrock.  “Lubango” is the flat block on the right side of the above Navcam image.  The fracture is still …

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18 April 2016

Sol 1316: Back to Lobango

Sol 1316:  Back to Lobango

All of the activities planned for last weekend completed successfully, including the full MAHLI wheel imaging and associated rover motion of just over 1 meter.  The science team decided to return to the Lubango outcrop based on ChemCam results that show unusually high silica there.  Therefore, the Sol 1316 plan includes a drive back toward Lubango to find good targets for drilling.  Before the drive, ChemCam and Mastcam will observe …

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Sols 1313-1315: Full MAHLI wheel imaging

Sols 1313-1315:  Full MAHLI wheel imaging

Tactical planning was a bit hectic today as we reacted to yesterday’s change in the near-term science goals, but the team quickly determined what is feasible and put together a good plan.  There are no good brushable targets in the arm workspace, so the DRT will not be used.  Rather, we selected 3 targets for MAHLI imaging and APXS measurements of natural surfaces.  I’m MAHLI/MARDI uplink lead today, and have …

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16 April 2016

Sol 1312: The best laid plans…

Sol 1312:  The best laid plans…

The original plan for today included an ~11 m drive to get closure to a fracture in the Stimson formation.  However, during science discussion, the team talked further about how to best sample both altered and unaltered Stimson bedrock, and realized that some of the best places to accomplish the proposed sampling were likely behind us!  As a result of this discussion, the drive in today’s plan was pulled at …

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14 April 2016

Sol 1311: Take Me To Fracture Town

Sol 1311: Take Me To Fracture Town

Today I was on duty as KOP again, but we got to sleep in: we started at 7 am instead of 6:30! Curiosity is in good shape and our drive was successful. In the Sol 1311 plan, we have ChemCam observations of the targets “Garnet Koppie,” “Amspoort,” “Soutrivier,” and “Uubvley.” Garnet Koppie and Amspoort will allow us to compare the composition of a bright fracture halo and the nearby bedrock, …

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