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Curiosity Mars Rover: Analyzing Drill Powder

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Drilling on Mars!

It’s so tremendous cool

SAM bakes up our pattern

Utilizing many a joule

Picture taken by Mast Digital camera (Mastcam) onboard NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity on Sol 2668 February 7, 2020
Credit score: NASA/JPL-Caltech

NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover is now performing Sol 2677 duties.

The Curiosity science group is at present analyzing our most up-to-date drill powder from “Hutton,” experiences Daybreak Sumner, Planetary Geologist at College of California Davis.

Curiosity Mast Digital camera Left picture taken on Sol 2674, February 13, 2020.
Credit score: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

The primary evaluation of its mineralogy with the rover’s Chemistry & Mineralogy X-Ray Diffraction/X-Ray Fluorescence Instrument (CheMin) was profitable, and the Pattern Evaluation at Mars (SAM) Instrument Suite group determined to proceed with an advanced gasoline evaluation (EGA) evaluation.

Curiosity Left B Navigation Digital camera photograph acquired on Sol 2674, February 13, 2020.
Credit score: NASA/JPL-Caltech

“This evaluation consists of heating the pattern powder in an oven and sending the gases which might be launched into the mass spectrometer,” Sumner explains. “These gases embody issues like water vapor, carbon dioxide, molecular oxygen, sulfur compounds, and extra. Their concentrations and once they arrive within the mass spectrometer give us numerous fascinating details about the composition of the pattern.”

Curiosity Left B Navigation Digital camera photograph acquired on Sol 2674, February 13, 2020.
Credit score: NASA/JPL-Caltech

4 sols of exercise

Not too long ago, the group put collectively a four sol exercise plan that covers the lengthy vacation weekend.

“We begin by delivering a part of our Hutton pattern powder to the SAM instrument,” Sumner notes, “which can warmth it and analyze it in a single day.”

Curiosity Chemistry & Digital camera Distant Micro-Imager (RMI) photograph taken on Sol 2674, February 13, 2020.
Credit score: NASA/JPL-Caltech/LANL

The second sol consists of monitoring the setting and recharging the batteries since heating the pattern takes a number of power.

“On the third sol, CheMin takes its flip, performing one other evaluation to raised perceive the mineralogy of the Hutton pattern. Within the early morning of the fourth sol, we’re characterizing the environment with a set of photos and films, and we’re including to a really giant mosaic of the slopes round Curiosity,” Sumner explains.

Curiosity Mast Digital camera Left picture taken on Sol 2671, February 10, 2020.
Credit score: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

In a while the fourth sol, the rover’s Chemistry and Digital camera (ChemCam) will picture “Craigielaw Level,” which is close to the highest of the slope to the south. ChemCam will shoot its laser on the bedrock at “Troup Head,” which is near the Hutton drill web site, to research its chemistry.

Curiosity Mast Digital camera Left picture taken on Sol 2674, February 13, 2020.
Credit score: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

Sumner concludes: “It was nice to spend the morning of Valentine’s day with the rover I really like probably the most!”

A cheerful patch of heart-shaped daylight reminds us of how we love studying about Mars! Curiosity took this picture utilizing its Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI), positioned on the turret on the finish of the rover’s robotic arm, on December 16, 2012, or Sol 129 of her mission.
Most MAHLI photos, corresponding to this one, use the solar as an illumination supply. Nonetheless, MAHLI can even use white mild LEDs and longwave ultraviolet (UV) LEDs to light up targets.
Credit score: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS


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