16 January 2016

Sols 1225-1227: Analyzing dump piles

Posted by Ryan Anderson

Sol 1223 Navcam scuff

Sol 1223 MAHLI

As seen in the images above, the arm activities on Sols 1223-1224 went well, and we’re ready for even more contact science in the 3-sol weekend plan.  To kick things off, ChemCam will analyze the composition of the wall of the scuff and will also document a sharp-crested ripple with the RMI.  Then Mastcam will document the ChemCam target and look for sand movement.  Overnight, APXS will be used to measure the composition of the background undisturbed sand.  On the second sol, a fine-grained portion of sand (<150 microns) will be delivered to CheMin for analysis.  Then we’ll dump both the fine ( 150 microns) portions, and analyze the fine-grained dump pile with MAHLI and APXS. The third sol includes a Mastcam change-detection activity, followed by Navcam to monitor the deck to search for the movement of fines.  Overnight, CheMin will analyze the sample that was delivered the previous sol.  Phew!  Sounds like a busy weekend for Curiosity!

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.