23 April 2016

Sols 1320-1322: Drilling at Lubango

Posted by Ryan Anderson

Sol 1319 Navcam DRT

The contact science activities on Sol 1319 went well, and we analyzed another DRT location with MAHLI and APXS.  The drill pre-load test suggested that the Lubango block might have moved slightly, but the RPs feel comfortable to go ahead and drill in the weekend plan.

I was on duty as GSTL again today, and it’s always exciting when we get to drill a new sample on Mars.  In addition to the main drill activities, the plan includes several targeted science blocks, which will be used to characterize the drill location and search for the next potential drill site on unaltered Stimson bedrock.  On the second sol, the science block includes Mastcam multispectral characterization of the drill hole, followed by several Mastcam mosaics.  The color information provided by Mastcam is really helpful in distinguishing altered versus unaltered bedrock.  We also planned a small mosaic to assess a fracture that crosscuts an impact crater.  Then we’ll shoot several ChemCam targets to assess the block that we’re drilling, and a few sites that we might bump to next.  The science block on the second sol includes an additional target to assess unaltered Stimson bedrock.  Fingers crossed for a successful drilling campaign!

By Lauren Edgar

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.