16 September 2019

Sols 2525-2528: Go for Drilling at Glen Etive 2!

Posted by Ryan Anderson

After studying the results from the ‘Glen Etive 1’ drill hole over conjunction, the team has decided to proceed with a second drill hole at a nearby location, dubbed ‘Glen Etive 2,’ (see above image) on the same rock slab. This second drill will allow us to do a more detailed set of SAM and CheMin analyses to better understand the composition of this rock.

We kicked off the drilling campaign for Glen Etive 2 with a series of activities on Sols 2525 through 2528. On Sol 2525, we commenced with initial triaging of the Glen Etive 2 target, which included a preload test to help determine if the rock surface will be stable for drilling. To continue wrapping up observations from the first drill campaign, we also planned APXS observations over two pebbly areas near where the Glen Etive 1 sample was dumped. The APXS measurement of the Glen Etive 1 dump pile included some pebbly materials in the field-of-view, so these extra measurements will help us tease out the true composition of the sample fines.

We learned that the Sol 2525 preload test was successful today, so we proceeded with the full drill activity on Glen Etive 2 in the Sol 2526-2528 plan. This includes the requisite pre-drill imaging, as well as SAM and CheMin activities to prepare for ingestion and analyses of the Glen Etive 2 sample next week. Other activities included Mastcam multispectral documentation of both the Glen Etive 1 and future Glen Etive 2 drill holes, ChemCam observations of the Glen Etive 1 drill tailings and dump pile, and a suite of atmospheric monitoring observations. We also planned several activities focused on monitoring and maintaining our instruments, including MAHLI imaging of the REMS UV sensor and Mastcam imaging of the MAHLI magnet.

Getting all of these activities into this packed weekend plan was quite the effort, but well worth it to get our next drill sample. We can’t wait to see the results!

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