3 March 2018

Sols 1981-1983: Second sample acquisition attempt

Posted by Ryan Anderson

All of the data returned for the second drill target, called ‘Lake Orcadie 2,’ support the decision to attempt to acquire sample at that location using feed-extended drilling. So the weekend plan is focused on drilling, which is planned for the second sol (1982). But first, on Sol 1981, ChemCam and Right Mastcam will observe a potential location for dropping sample in the future and targets named ‘Ben Nevis’ and ‘Moray.’ Mastcam will then measure dust in the atmosphere and Navcam will search for dust devils. Later that afternoon, Right Mastcam will look for changes in the sieved and unsieved Ogunquit Beach dump piles, and the ChemCam RMI and Right Mastcam will acquire mosaics of the alluvial fan near the north rim of Gale Crater. Overnight, APXS will integrate on air rather than surface materials to measure the amount of argon in the atmosphere, which is known to vary seasonally based on Mars Exploration Rover APXS data.

Feed-extended drilling dominates the Sol 1982 plan, with only REMS and DAN activities running in parallel. The drill will be retracted from the hole, and Mastcam will take pictures of the hole and the drill bit on Sol 1983. Then the rover will sleep in preparation for more work on Monday. Of course we are all hoping that the drilling goes well–we’re looking forward to studying the drill hole and sample!

Written by Ken Herkenhoff, Planetary Geologist at USGS Astrogeology Science Center