18 October 2015

Sols 1136-1138: Drilling at “Greenhorn”

Posted by Ryan Anderson

Sol 1134 Front Hazcam

Unfortunately the Sol 1135 bundles were not uplinked due to a DSN issue, so the activities that we planned yesterday never made it onboard.  However, that meant that Curiosity spent the day resting and recharging in time for a lot of great science this weekend.

Today’s 3-sol plan will recover most of the activities that were planned for Sol 1135, in addition to the main activity of a full drill hole on the “Greenhorn” target.  On the first sol, Curiosity will acquire several ChemCam and Mastcam observations on the targets “Nisku,” “Skull Creek,” “Hawk Creek,” and “Opeche,” to investigate the variability in silica associated with these fracture zones.  We’ll also take several Mastcam images to look for changes in fine-grained deposits to evaluate local winds.  Overnight, we’ll use MAHLI to image the CheMin inlet in preparation for drilling activities.  On the second sol, we’ll go for the full drill hole on “Greenhorn,” followed by MAHLI imaging of the drill hole.  The third sol consists of several environmental monitoring activities to assess the composition and opacity of the atmosphere.  We’ll also squeeze in some Mastcam observations of the “Big Sky” dump pile and drill tailings using all of the camera filters.  The only activity that we won’t have time for is the SAM atmospheric methane detection, but we’re hoping to get that sometime next week.  I’ll be on duty again on Monday, so I’m looking forward to seeing the
results from the latest drill hole!

By Lauren Edgar 

–Lauren is a Research Geologist at the USGS Astrogeology Science Center and a member of MSL science team.

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.