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Curiosity Mars Rover: Opening Night for Long-awaited Experiment

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Curiosity Proper B Navigation Digicam picture taken on Sol 2878, September 10, 2020.
Credit score: NASA/JPL-Caltech

 

 

NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover is now finishing up Sol 2879 duties.

It’s “opening night time” on the rover’s present website, reviews Scott Guzewich, an atmospheric scientist at NASA’s Goddard House Flight Heart in Greenbelt, Maryland.

“Ten sols in the past was our ultimate costume rehearsal and immediately’s plan is opening night time for an experiment that has been anticipated since we landed simply over eight years in the past,” Guzewich provides.

 

Inside job

After the robotic’s profitable drilling of “Mary Anning three,” bits of rock powder are ready within the drill meeting for supply to the robotic’s Pattern Evaluation at Mars (SAM) Instrument Suite. A lately scripted plan has Curiosity extending its arm over the SAM inlets (the paddle formed doorways) after which rotate the drill backwards in order that six parts of powdered rock are dropped off.

Curiosity Proper B Navigation Digicam picture taken on Sol 2878, September 10, 2020.
Credit score: NASA/JPL-Caltech

“As soon as inside SAM, the powdered bits of rock shall be soaked a really particular answer known as TMAH,” Guzewich explains.

 

 

 

 

 

BTW: TMAH is mercifully quick for a chemical mouth full: tetramethylammonium hydroxide.

Curiosity Chemistry & Digicam Distant Micro-Imager (RMI) photograph acquired on Sol 2878, September 10, 2020.
Credit score: NASA/JPL-Caltech/LANL

eight 12 months wait

“TMAH will assist our science workforce determine what fragments of natural (carbon-bearing) supplies are current within the clay-rich rock of Mary Anning,” Guzewich says. “SAM incorporates solely two small containers of TMAH and so we’ve been ready for eight years for simply the best rock to drill to make use of this very valuable expendable commodity.”

Curiosity Chemistry & Digicam Distant Micro-Imager (RMI) photograph acquired on Sol 2878, September 10, 2020.
Credit score: NASA/JPL-Caltech/LANL

“The wait is lastly over and SAM will hopefully quickly give us new perception into the chemistry of historical Mars,” Guzewich concludes.


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