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Curiosity Mars Rover: Hutton Drill Campaign

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Curiosity Mars Hand Lens Imager photograph produced on Sol 2684, February 24, 2020.
Credit score: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover is now finishing up Sol 2685 duties.

Susanne Schwenzer, a planetary geologist at The Open College, Milton Keynes, U.Okay., experiences that Mars scientists are nonetheless in the midst of the Hutton drill marketing campaign.

“This offers us a number of issues to do, however energy constraints prohibit what we are able to obtain every planning. However, we’ll get this all performed, we simply should be affected person,” Schwenzer provides.

Curiosity Mars Hand Lens Imager photograph produced on Sol 2684, February 24, 2020.
Credit score: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

Portioning and dumping

A current focus of planning was to progress with the drill actions, primarily coping with the rest of the portioning after which dumping the samples and getting the robotic’s Alpha Particle X-Ray Spectrometer (APXS) in a single day on it. “There was a number of dialogue the way to play that ‘energy tetris’ as soon as once more,” Schwenzer notes.

First, arm actions have been required to hold out additional portioning of the pattern, after which dump the pattern. Mastcam, APXS and the Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) have been tasked to doc the chemistry and textures of the dump pile.

Dump pile. Curiosity Mars Hand Lens Imager photograph produced on Sol 2684, February 24, 2020.
Credit score: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

Doc the buttes

Documenting the world far and close to is likely one of the priorities for Chemistry and Digital camera (ChemCam) and Mastcam. Planning additionally concerned two Distant Micro Imager (RMI) telescope mosaics to doc the buttes across the rover, named “South Esk 2” and “Glenrothes 2,” and there’s a additional RMI mosaic, named “Moray Firth.”

Curiosity Chemistry & Digital camera Distant Micro Imager (RMI) telescope photograph taken on Sol 2684, February 23, 2020.
Credit score: NASA/JPL-Caltech/LANL

“The latter is very wanting on the capping materials of the butte – and the contact to the underlying rocks,” Schwenzer explains. “All these photographs will serve to analyze the sedimentary options of the world and perceive if wind or water reformed these rocks. With the chance to picture the buttes from three dimensions, there’s nice alternative to get behind all the main points.”

Sedimentary buildings

Schwenzer experiences that Mastcam is becoming a member of the imaging marketing campaign, with one single body stereo picture to hitch earlier mosaics, and two mosaics: a 9×1 of the goal “Craiglaw Level,” which is to doc the sedimentary buildings at this location.

Curiosity Chemistry & Digital camera Distant Micro Imager (RMI) telescope photograph taken on Sol 2684, February 23, 2020.
Credit score: NASA/JPL-Caltech/LANL

 

Mastcam can also be becoming a member of the RMI sedimentology marketing campaign with a three×1 of the goal “Morav Firth.” There are additionally photographs to doc the ChemCam actions.

“ChemCam is busy documenting the chemistry within the space of the Hutton drill gap as there’s a number of range within the rocks,” Schwenzer provides. The targets within the new plan will examine three targets: “Glen Rosa,” “Glen Quaich” and “Glen Shira.”

Lastly, Curiosity’s Dynamic Albedo of Neutrons (DAN) and Rover Environmental Monitoring Station (REMS are additionally busy doing their common measurements.

“Lots to do, even for a three-sol [Sol 2683-2685] plan,” Schwenzer concludes.


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