29 November 2016

Sol 1535: Cross-contamination experiment

Posted by Ryan Anderson

The current drill campaign continues to go smoothly, and the Sol 1535 plan is dominated by an experiment to see if any Sebina sample material is left inside the drill bit chamber from the previous drilling.  This is motivated by the fact that we only used vibration to transfer that sample from the drill bit assembly into CHIMRA, rather than also using percussion.  So it’s a “cross-contamination experiment” designed to see if the vibration didn’t do a complete job back when we first drilled Sebina.  Lots of images of the sieve and other parts of CHIMRA will be taken to verify that the system is clean.  These activities will take a fair amount of time and power, but we were able to squeeze a few remote science observations into the plan: ChemCam will shoot its laser at bedrock targets named “West Tremont” and “Eastern Head,” and the Right Mastcam will image the same targets.  The Left Mastcam will also examine fracture patterns at “Sawyer’s Cove.”  Finally, Navcam will search for clouds north of the rover.  If all goes well, drilling will be planned tomorrow!

By Ken Herkenhoff