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Curiosity Mars Rover: Weekend Drilling Plans

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Curiosity Navcam Left B photograph taken on Sol 2368, April 5, 2019.
Credit score: NASA/JPL-Caltech

NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover is now performing Sol 2369 duties.

Friday marked the conclusion of the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Science Crew Assembly, held at Goddard House Flight Heart in Greenbelt, Maryland.

Curiosity Entrance Hazcam Proper B picture taken on Sol 2368, April 5, 2019.
Credit score: NASA/JPL-Caltech

“These conferences are the place scientists and engineers can come collectively to debate the continuing actions related to the Curiosity rover. They’re at all times productive alternatives to debate methods for analyzing beforehand collected knowledge in addition to methods for investigating the terrain forward of the rover,” reviews Mark Salvatore, a planetary geologist from the College of Michigan in Dearborn, Michigan.

Curiosity Navcam Proper B picture acquired on Sol 2368, April 5, 2019.
Credit score: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Goal chosen

After vital dialogue among the many science workforce in addition to evaluation of the compositional knowledge that got here down just lately from each the Alpha Particle X-Ray Spectrometer (APXS) and Chemistry and Digicam (ChemCam) devices, the workforce has determined to proceed with drilling the “Aberlady” goal.

“The extra compositional analyses confirmed that the composition of this goal seems to be corresponding to different targets throughout the clay-bearing unit,” Salvatore notes. “So, with the workforce coming to this consensus, right now marks the planning of Day 1 of our typical drill cadence, full with a pre-load drill take a look at to observe and study the drill’s efficiency previous to precise drilling into the goal.”

Curiosity Mastcam Proper photograph taken on Sol 2367, April four, 2019.
Credit score: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

Atmospheric argon

These actions are preceded by a 1.5 hour science block, which is able to focus totally on further ChemCam compositional analyses and Mastcam colour and multispectral imaging of the workspace, Salvatore provides.

Laser dots seen by Curiosity ChemCam Distant Micro-Imager photograph acquired on Sol 2369, April 6, 2019.
Credit score: NASA/JPL-Caltech/LANL

The plan requires the rover’s APXS to start a collection of two integrations.

“Nonetheless, as a substitute of inserting the sensor head on the martian floor to analyze the compositions of rocks and sediments, APXS will flip her sensor skywards to measure seasonal modifications in atmospheric argon,” Salvatore factors out. “These actions will set us up properly to proceed with the drill marketing campaign, hopefully leading to a full drill effort someday this weekend.”

Curiosity Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) picture produced on Sol 2368, April 5, 2019. MAHLI is positioned on the turret on the finish of the rover’s robotic arm.
Credit score: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

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