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Curiosity Mars Rover: Drill Hole Studies

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Curiosity Entrance Hazcam Left B picture taken on Sol 2526, September 14, 2019.
Credit score: NASA/JPL-Caltech

NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover is now wrapping up Sol 2527 duties.

The Purple Planet equipment has returned to operations after standing down through the current opposition from August 28 to September 7, 2019 – a interval when Mars is on the alternative aspect of the Solar from Earth and curtails communications between Earth and the Purple Planet.

Curiosity ChemCam Distant Micro-Imager picture acquired on Sol 2526, September 14, 2019.
Credit score: NASA/JPL-Caltech/LANL

Studies Lucy Thompson, a planetary geologist at College of New Brunswick, the present focus of Curiosity’s actions is to complete up the analyses related to the drilling marketing campaign at “Glen Etive 1.”

Curiosity Navcam Proper B picture taken on Sol 2526, September 14, 2019.
Credit score: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Chemistry, shade and texture

Not too long ago, dump drill fines from the drill bit meeting (DBA) and the analyses of these fines have been executed with the rover’s Alpha Particle X-Ray Spectrometer (APXS) (for chemistry) and the Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) (for shut up shade and texture), in addition to acquiring MAHLI pictures of the drill gap and related fines surrounding the outlet (tailings). The opening is roughly 1.6 centimeters in diameter.

Curiosity Rear Hazcam Left B picture taken on Sol 2526, September 14, 2019.
Credit score: NASA/JPL-Caltech

“The MAHLI pictures of the drill tailings allowed us to decide on the perfect location on the tailings to research with APXS,” Thompson notes. “We’re excited about evaluating the chemistry of the tailings, versus the DBA fines, versus the brushed floor previous to drilling to search for variations in composition with depth. We could have intersected completely different layers throughout drilling; the tailings are sometimes derived from the highest 2 centimeters of the drill gap, whereas the DBA fines are derived from the decrease a number of centimeters.”

Curiosity Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) picture produced on Sol 2524, September 12, 2019. MAHLI is positioned on the turret on the finish of the rover’s robotic arm.
Credit score: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

Curiosity Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) picture produced on Sol 2524, September 12, 2019.
Credit score: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

 

 

Down the outlet

Further MAHLI imaging of the drill gap was additionally deliberate, together with angled night time time imaging down the outlet to search for any apparent layering or veins, Thompson provides.

“The crew is trying ahead to wrapping up right here at Glen Etive 1,” Thompson concludes, and drilling one other gap shut by to allow a extra detailed examine of this materials with the interior rover laboratory devices, the Chemistry & Mineralogy X-Ray Diffraction/X-Ray Fluorescence Instrument (CheMin) and the Pattern Evaluation at Mars (SAM) Instrument Suite.


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