24 May 2019

Sol 2415: Cairn today, drill tomorrow?

Posted by Ryan Anderson

Bright block in the image center is the next potential drill spot, “Broad Cairn.”

After a short six meter drive to ‘Hallaig,’ the science team began the investigation of a new potential drill target named ‘Broad Cairn,’ a flat spot on a bright block in the clay-bearing unit. To confirm whether this location is high in potassium (K), the rover was commanded to clean off the spot with the dust removal tool (DRT), then take some close-up pictures with the MAHLI camera, followed by an APXS integration at the right time of day to maximize the data quality. Since getting the data back expeditiously was the highest priority, other science observations were pushed to the next planning sol. For now, the science team waits with bated breath for the results.

Written by Fred Calef, Planetary Geologist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory