12 August 2018
On our third attempt at drilling within the Pettegrove Point member on the Vera Rubin Ridge, we have success! Curiosity has successfully drilled, and generated a pile of drill tailings.
This weekend’s plan is focused on the Stoer drill hole, the tailings derived from the drill and on portion characterization observations. The portion characterization is done prior to sending samples to the analytical instruments, SAM and CheMin, to ensure that the materials will not pose any threat to the instruments. ChemCam passive and Mastcam multispectral imaging will be taken of the drill tailings, to identify any potential differences between the surface and material from deeper within the drill hole. The ChemCam laser (LIBS) will be used to characterize the Stoer drill hole and a bedrock target ‘Greian,’ which appears to show some colour variations. Mastcam will provide colour documentation for Greian.
There will also be Mastcam change detection on the drill tailings (to identify if there is any movement of the drill tailings) and continuing change detection on three targets (‘Camas Mor,’ ‘Belhelvie’ and ‘Sandray’). Environmental measurements will be made to search for both cloud motion and dust devils.
Written by Catherine O’Connell, Planetary Geologist at University of New Brunswick-Cooper