19 October 2015
Over the weekend Curiosity drilled another hole on Mars at the “Greenhorn” target. Everything went smoothly and we have another beautiful sample to analyze!
Today’s plan is focused on transferring the sample to CheMin, followed by CheMin analysis of the drill sample. I was on duty as GSTL today, and we also planned several ChemCam and Mastcam observations of the drill hole and surrounding rocks. First we’ll acquire a ChemCam passive observation of the drill tailings, and take a number of RMI images of the drill hole to help with ChemCam targeting of the drill hole tomorrow. Then we’ll acquire ChemCam LIBS on the targets “Gypsy,” “Tumbleweed,” and “Wrangle” to assess the variability of silica associated with these fracture zones. We’ll also take a small Mastcam mosaic to document the ChemCam targets and the local topography, and a Mastcam and Navcam photometry experiment to characterize differences in lighting over the same region at different times of day. In the afternoon, the “Greenhorn” drill sample will be transferred, sieved, and dropped off to CheMin, and the sample will be analyzed by CheMin overnight. It will be interesting to see how this sample compares to the “Big Sky” target!
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.