3 August 2015

Sol 1064: Dump pre-sieve sample

Sol 1064:  Dump pre-sieve sample

The activities planned for last weekend completed successfully, including sample dropoff to CheMin (shown in image) and analysis of the minerals present.  So the Sol 1064 plan includes dumping the portion of the drill sample that has not been sieved and Mastcam, ChemCam, MAHLI, and APXS observations of the dump pile.  ChemCam and Mastcam will also observe nearby targets “Martz” and “Mountain Home.”  MAHLI will image the drill hole, tailings …

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2 August 2015

Sols 1061-1063: Sample dropoff to CheMin

Sols 1061-1063:  Sample dropoff to CheMin

This morning, the MSL operations team was very happy to see that drilling into Buckskin was successful!  The weekend plan therefore has more arm activities, including transferring the sample to the scoop for inspection.  But first, the ChemCam RMI will take pictures of the new drill hole and Mastcam will image a potential location for eventually dumping the sample.  The sample will be sieved and a portion of the fine-grained …

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30 July 2015

Sol 1060: GO for drilling!

Sol 1060: GO for drilling!

By Lauren Edgar It’s another exciting day on Mars!  Curiosity is investigating some high-silica targets at an outcrop named “Lion.”  The team selected the “Buckskin” target to drill, and we successfully completed a mini drilling test yesterday (shown in the above MAHLI image).  That means that today we’re going for the FULL drill hole. Today’s plan is focused on the drilling activity, and a lot of imaging to document the …

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29 July 2015

Sol 1059: Drill Testing and Analyzing "Ch-paa-qn"

Sol 1059: Drill Testing and Analyzing "Ch-paa-qn"

Today the main event is a “mini-start hole”, which is the name for a new type of initial drilling test that we are trying out on the target “Buckskin”. This test will drill a small hole in the rock to help determine whether it is safe to go ahead with the full hole. In addition to that test, we are planning a detailed study of the target “Ch-paa-qn” which means …

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28 July 2015

Sol 1057-1058: Getting Ready to Drill Buckskin

Sol 1057-1058: Getting Ready to Drill Buckskin

The “bump” over the weekend was successful, so we are right where we want to be to attempt drilling at “Buckskin” in the “Lion” area. I was on duty as ChemCam sPUL (science payload uplink lead) today, and it was a fun day to be on duty. Sometimes it can be stressful trying to make sure that all the settings are correct and that the instrument will be safe, but …

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26 July 2015

Sol 1055-1056: Closing in on High-Silica Targets

Sol 1055-1056: Closing in on High-Silica Targets

The main priority in today’s plan is to nudge the rover a bit closer to the target “Buckskin”, which is in the area where we have discovered rocks high in silica and hydrogen. But before we do that, ChemCam and Mastcam will observe the targets “Marent”, “Pilcher”, and “Twinkle”, all of which may also have high silica. Navcam will also search for dust devils and do some atmospheric monitoring. On …

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22 July 2015

Sols 1051-1054: Approaching "Lion"

Sols 1051-1054:  Approaching "Lion"

After driving just over 20 meters, the rover stopped 4.4 meters short of the Sol 1049 drive goal because the vehicle pitch exceeded the 15-degree limit set by the rover drivers.  So another 6.4-meter drive toward the bright outcrop of interest, dubbed “Lion,” was planned for Sol 1051.  That  drive completed successfully, providing a good view of the outcrop.  ChemCam and Mastcam observed the sand ripple “Agency” and bedrock target …

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20 July 2015

Sols 1048-1050: Test drill and drive

Sols 1048-1050:  Test drill and drive

  The Sol 1046 wheel imaging completed nominally, and the rover is a little over 1 meter from its previous location.  So the outcrop to the right of the vehicle is still close enough for ChemCam LIBS measurements, and I helped select new targets again today.  The Sol 1048 plan includes ChemCam and Mastcam observations of “Pinto,” “Palomino,” and “Burnt Point” plus a Navcam search for clouds toward the north.  …

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17 July 2015

Sols 1046-1047: Wheel imaging

Sols 1046-1047:  Wheel imaging

  The 8.5-meter Sol 1044 drive completed as planned, leaving the rover in a relatively flat and smooth area that is suitable for imaging of the wheels.  Wheel imaging is done periodically to assess wear, and it’s time to acquire new data, so the Sol 1046 includes 5 sets of MAHLI, Mastcam, and MARDI images separated by short rover bumps to allow the entire surfaces of the wheels to be …

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14 July 2015

Sol 1044-1045: Finishing the Drive

Sol 1044-1045: Finishing the Drive

The drive over the weekend stopped a bit early (~17 meters instead of the intended ~25 meters) because the software that the rover uses to monitor its drive progress was being extra cautious. The rover is fine, and in the sol 1044 plan we will keep driving. Before the drive, ChemCam has observations of targets of varying textures named “Edith”, “Sheffer”, and “Finley”. Mastcam will take some documentation images of …

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