13 August 2019

Sols 2495-2496: A slight change of plans

Posted by Ryan Anderson

Today’s planning began with a bit of a shuffle as we learned that the sample cup that was used for SAM preconditioning over the weekend didn’t seal as well as desired. This preconditioning step is required before we can perform SAM Evolved Gas Analysis (EGA) on the ‘Glen Etive’ drill sample. In response, we elected to redo the SAM preconditioning activity using another cup, in addition to running another CheMin analysis. These changes freed up additional time for remote sensing observations in this 2 sol plan.

We planned a variety of ChemCam observations, including a retargeting of the Glen Etive drill hole in order to better adjust the focus parameters. We identified a rock called ‘Scone’ with nicely exposed layers that we will sample with a vertical raster, and will also target another bedrock target called ‘Crannog.’ There was also time to take a long distance RMI mosaic of the sulfate unit to image sedimentary structures in these distant rocks. Supporting Mastcam documentation images were planned for each of these observations, as well as Navcam movies designed for determining cloud height. If all goes well with the redo of the SAM preconditioning, we’ll be continuing along the drill sol path in no time!

Written by Vivian Sun, Planetary Geologist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory