28 July 2015

Sol 1057-1058: Getting Ready to Drill Buckskin

Posted by Ryan Anderson


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 today everything was easy and I got to spend more time on the fun stuff like choosing targets and their names!

The sol 1057 plan starts off with a Mastcam observation of some disturbed soil at the target “Calamity” followed by ChemCam observations of “Blind Gulch”, “Sorrel Springs”, and “Buffalo Basin”. Mastcam also has a 4×5 stereo observation of the Lion area and some “tau” observations of the amount of dust in the atmosphere. Once all that is done, we will brush a spot on “Buckskin”, observe it with MAHLI, and then place APXS on it for an overnight measurement of its composition.

After a busy sol 1057, sol 1058 is pretty calm: it is mostly dedicated to weather monitoring with REMS, plus MARDI will take an image of the ground underneath us.

By Ryan Anderson

-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.