30 September 2019

Sol 2540-2542: Go, SAM, go!

Posted by Ryan Anderson

Curiosity’s late afternoon view: This image was taken by the Front Hazard Avoidance Camera (Right B (FHAZ_RIGHT_B)) onboard NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity on Sol 2536 (2019-09-25 00:12:06 UTC). It shows the same view as the image in the sols 2538-2539 blog, just in a very different light!

Regular followers of this blog surely are on the edge of their seats to find out what is next with the SAM wet chemistry experiment… And it’s a good news day! SAM is healthy and Curiosity will be spending most of her time of the coming three sols on the wet chemistry experiment activity. The planning team is very excited, and we keep all fingers crossed that we will find interesting data on Monday.

With SAM featuring prominently in the plan, power is limited for other activities. Thus, there are just three other observations in the three-sol weekend plan: Mastcam will continue their testing of Mt. Sharp imaging conditions on sol 2541 with an early morning mosaic of an area already imaged at different times of the day. Later in the same sol, ChemCam will carry out an investigation of the ‘Glen Lyon’ target. If that sounds familiar to you, then you’ve got a very good memory. The target was investigated on sol 2533 when the rover was closer to the target, and is now re-measured to understand what influence – if any – distance to a target makes to the results. Finally, a ChemCam investigation of the ‘Glen Etive’ drill hole wall will add more data to the first set of points, improving our statistics on this very important target. Mastcam will document the ChemCam activities, and then all that there is left to do is await the data from SAM!

Written by Susanne Schwenzer, Planetary Geologist at The Open University