13 January 2016
Sols 1223-1224: Scooping sand for SAM
Posted by Ryan Anderson
The Sol 1221 drive went well, including a wheel scuff in the dark sand dune, and the rover is in a good position for contact science. The Sol 1223-1224 plan is therefore loaded with arm activities, limited by the available power. First, MAHLI will take pictures of a couple of locations on the dune surface that has not been disturbed by the wheels, and of sand that was disturbed by the wheel scuff. Then the APXS will be placed as close as possible to the scuffed sand for an overnight integration. On Sol 1224, the scoop will be used to acquire a sample of the undisturbed dune sand. This sample will be sieved and the finest material (less than 0.15 mm diameter grains) will be dropped into the SAM inlet. SAM will then analyze the sample overnight, into the wee hours of Sol 1225. I’m paying close attention to planning today because I’m scheduled to serve as SOWG Chair on Friday.
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.