28 March 2017

Sol 1650: Let the scooping begin!

Posted by larryohanlon

Over the weekend, Curiosity bumped to our scooping location at “Ogunquit Beach.”  We have a wheel scuff in the left side of our workspace and a sinuous ripple crest in the right side of the workspace, which according to today’s Geology Science Theme Lead Michelle Minitti is “everything a dune lover could want!”  Today’s plan is focused on imaging the ripple crest, the interior of the scuff, and two of the scoop targets, along with APXS of the scuff interior.

The plan starts with slip assessment imaging and vibe checkout to prepare for sampling activities. Then we’ll acquire MAHLI images of two of the planned scoop targets to characterize the sites before we scoop them.  We’ll also acquire MAHLI images of the interior of the scuff, now known as the “Flanders Bay” target, to assess the disturbed sand, and the ripple crest, now known as “Avery Peak.”  Then we’ll place the APXS over “Flanders Bay” for an overnight integration. SAM will also perform some preconditioning heating activities to prepare for upcoming solid sample analysis.  This is a very power intensive plan, so we had to trim back a couple of science activities to accommodate the sampling-related activities.  Looking forward to a very complex and exciting scooping campaign!

By Lauren Edgar

–Lauren is a Research Geologist at the USGS Astrogeology Science Center and a member of the MSL science team.