12 April 2019
Today we received the initial results from CheMin‘s analysis of the ‘Aberlady’ drill sample, and they look great! This means that CheMin received enough sample and we do not need to deliver more material. Based on the initial questions about how much sample was obtained (see the Sol 2373 post), SAM decided to not use their resources to analyze this sample. So in today’s plan we will dump the rest of the sample on the ground where we can analyze it with Curiosity’s remote sensing instruments.
We are currently deciding whether we should drill at another location nearby so SAM can have a shot at analyzing this type of rock. To help with that decision, in today’s plan ChemCam will target two potential drill options, ‘Ulva’ and ‘Sutors.’ ChemCam will also target ‘New Lanark’ to document a possible transition between two different rock types that were observed near the rover.
We are also taking advantage of being stationary next to a large sand patch by obtaining change detection observations. In today’s plan Mastcam will take images of the ‘Claymore’ target to document potential sand motion in the area. This will tell us how windy it is in this region.
Finally, today’s plan includes a Mastcam 360 mosaic so we will get a spectacular view of our surroundings.
Written by Kristen Bennett, Planetary Geologist at USGS Astrogeology Science Center