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Curiosity Mars Rover: Partial Drilling into Hard Rock

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Curiosity ChemCam Distant Micro-Imager picture of drill gap taken on Sol 2123, July 27, 2018.
Credit score: NASA/JPL-Caltech/LANL

Now performing Sol 2124 duties, NASA’s Mars Curiosity rover has been stymied as soon as once more by partially drilling into laborious rock.

“Our try at drilling the goal ‘Ailsa Craig’ was partly profitable,” stories Ryan Anderson, planetary geologist on the USGS in Flagstaff, Arizona. “The drill behaved precisely because it was alleged to, however sadly we weren’t in a position to drill very deep. The rock right here is simply too laborious!”

Shifting on

Anderson provides that for the reason that robotic didn’t get a pleasant deep drill gap, the plan for the weekend is to do some last observations at this location after which transfer on one other location to strive once more.

Curiosity Navcam Proper B picture acquired on Sol 2123, July 27, 2018.
Credit score: NASA/JPL-Caltech

The science block on Sol 2124 begins with a Chemistry and Digital camera (ChemCam) passive commentary of the pulverized rock tailings from the newer shallow drill gap.

That shall be adopted by an “energetic” (laser zapping) commentary of the vein goal “LamLash Bay” accompanied by Mastcam multispectral photographs.

Mud stage monitoring

Later within the afternoon, the plan calls to be used of the rover’s Mastcam and Navcam to do atmospheric observations to observe the mud ranges because the planet-encircling storm steadily dies down. The day is to be wrapped up with Alpha Particle X-Ray Spectrometer (APXS) observations on and off of the drill gap.

Curiosity Mastcam Proper picture taken on Sol 2123, July 27, 2018.
Credit score: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

Within the morning of Sol 2125, the plan entails Navcam and Mastcam taking atmospheric observations. “Later within the afternoon, ChemCam will even analyze the chemistry of the drill gap and tailings and Mastcam and Navcam will do some extra atmospheric measurements, together with looking forward to mud devils,” Anderson explains.

Subsequent drill locale

On Sol 2126, Curiosity is slated to drive towards a subsequent potential drill location.

“We’ll gather the standard post-drive photographs to assist us select targets on Monday, in addition to some extra mud monitoring with Navcam,” Anderson concludes.

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