1 August 2016
Today’s plan was all about setting up for our next drill hole. Originally there was going to be no science block at all, but we ended up with a little bit more power than expected, so we managed to fit in a ChemCam observation of the expected drill target, called “Marimba” along with Mastcam documentation. Once that was done, the rover dumped its sieved sample from our previous drill at “Oudam” and did some contact science on Marimba. This included MAHLI and APXS of the drill location before and after brushing the dust off, Mastcam inspection of various rover components, and the “pre-load” test where we make sure the rock can handle the pressure exerted by the drill. If all of that goes well, we should be able to drill later this week!
-Ryan is a planetary scientist at the USGS Astrogeology Science Center and a member of the ChemCam team on MSL.
Dates of planned rover activities described in these reports are subject to change due to a variety of factors related to the martian environment, communication relays and rover status