NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover is now finishing up Sol 2390 duties.
Curiosity’s first evening of research of the just lately obtained “Kilmarie” drill pattern has proven there’s sufficient materials to check. The robotic is utilizing its Chemistry & Mineralogy X-Ray Diffraction/X-Ray Fluorescence Instrument (CheMin) to evaluate the brand new pattern.
“Lower than 40 minutes after downlink, we received affirmation from the CheMin workforce that they did certainly obtain sufficient materials,” experiences Lucy Thompson, a planetary geologist on the College of New Brunswick, Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada.
“This meant that we may proceed with the 2 highest precedence actions within the plan; the second evening of CheMin evaluation of the Kilmarie drill pattern, Thompson provides, and a Pattern Evaluation at Mars (SAM) Instrument Suite preconditioning exercise in preparation for supply of pattern for a SAM Developed Fuel Evaluation (EGA) experiment within the coming week’s plan.
Rock pattern clues
“The CheMin instrument informs us of the mineralogy of the pattern, which may give us clues concerning the supply of the rock pattern, the circumstances underneath which it fashioned and any subsequent alteration occasions,” Thompson explains. “Will probably be fascinating to match the mineralogy of Kilmarie with the close by ‘Aberlady’ drill gap.”
Thompson provides that the SAM EGA experiment will measure the composition of the totally different gases developed at totally different temperatures because the pattern is heated within the SAM oven.
This enhances the CheMin knowledge and may help refine the mineralogy and inform us concerning the quantity and nature of assorted minerals.
Mars scientists are significantly excited about whether or not this pattern from the ‘Clay-Bearing Unit,’ Glen Torridon space, does actually include clay (as have the vast majority of drilled samples), and if it does, how a lot is current and what sort of clay mineral is it?
The science workforce additionally deliberate ChemCam Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectrometer (LIBS) on 4 rock targets (“Mile Finish,” “Tillyfourie,” “Tillybrachty” and “Tillymorgan”) within the neighborhood of the drill gap to proceed to observe compositional variation between comparatively coherent and extra rubbly bedrock than has been noticed inside Glen Torridon.
Completely different coloured strata
“We may even purchase Mastcam assist imaging for the ChemCam targets in addition to a big multispectral mosaic within the path of the “Greenheugh Pediment” and “Sulfate-Bearing Unit” that we’ll finally drive to,” Thompson experiences. “The multispectral mosaic will assist to spotlight attainable spectral and mineralogical variations between the totally different coloured strata we observe on this space.”
Curiosity researchers just lately undertook a busy planning day for environmental observations with three science blocks devoted to those actions.
A ChemCam passive sky measurement was included to have a look at water vapor and aerosols within the ambiance above Curiosity, in addition to Mastcam tau observations to measure the atmospheric opacity and a big Navcam mud satan survey.
Ongoing marketing campaign
Navcam zenith observations had been additionally deliberate as a part of the continuing marketing campaign to observe martian clouds, Thompson says. Customary background Rover Environmental Monitoring Station (REMS) actions monitor the day by day martian climate and likewise proceed to observe the radiation atmosphere with Radiation Evaluation Detector (RAD) and the abundance and distribution of hydrogen and hydroxide-bearing supplies throughout the subsurface with Dynamic Albedo of Neutrons (DAN) passive actions.
Mars researchers have to attend to make use of the robotic’s arm, and Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) and APXS on the top of the arm, “till after we now have dumped the Kilmarie drill fines from the drill bit meeting,” Thompson provides. “This doesn’t happen till the SAM and CheMin instrument groups affirm that they don’t require any extra pattern. Each the MAHLI and APXS groups eagerly await the prospect to investigate the drill fines from this newest gap on Mars.”