16 December 2018
In our last plan, we carried out triage activities on the red Jura target, ‘Rock Hall,’ including APXS of the target to determine composition, and engineering tests to assess the stability of the rock and its hardness, both of which would affect our ability to drill.
It was decided that this would be a suitable candidate, both geochemically and physically, so today’s plan will centre around the drilling of what will hopefully be our 19th drill sample for analysis on Mars!
On sol 2260, MAHLI will take a series of images to characterize locations chosen by the rover planners as the areas in which they would eventually like to dump excess sample generated by the drilling. The drilling itself will take place on the morning of the second sol (sol 2261).
Once this has completed, in the afternoon of sol 2261, ChemCam will do passive analysis (i.e., no LIBS, or laser) of the drill tailings, and image the drill hole. Both will be done ‘in the blind’ (without confirmation images), based on where the rover planners estimate their likely location to be. We will also acquire Mastcam multi-spectral analysis of the drill tailings.
The Environmental theme group requested some Mastcam atmospheric measurements, to be run in the morning and the afternoon of sol 2262. In addition to the afternoon environmental activities, Mastcam will document layering in a hill called ‘Lairig Ghru.’ Standard REMS and DAN passive activities are spread throughout the three sol plan.
Written by Catherine O’Connell, Planetary Geologist at University of New Brunswick-Cooper