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Curiosity Mars Rover: The 26th Drill Hole

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Curiosity Mast Digital camera Proper photograph taken on Sol 2754, Might 5, 2020.
Credit score: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover is now performing Sol 2757 duties.

A second strive at drilling the “Glasgow” goal proved profitable creating the 26th drill gap on Mars!

“It’s exhausting to consider that it’s solely been a bit of over a month since we drilled our final pattern ‘Edinburgh.’ Curiosity is definitely making fast progress within the ‘Glen Torridon’ area,” reviews Vivian Solar, Planetary Geologist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

Curiosity Left B Navigation Digital camera picture acquired on Sol 2756, Might eight, 2020.
Credit score: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Drill marketing campaign sequence

The main focus of a newly scripted two-sol plan (Sols 2756-2757) is portion characterization, which is the following step within the rover’s drill marketing campaign sequence.

This portion characterization step consists of Curiosity’s arm dropping a couple of parts of drill powder onto a floor, Solar provides, with the robotic’s Mastcam imaging earlier than and after to test the drilled pattern earlier than delivering it to Chemistry & Mineralogy X-Ray Diffraction/X-Ray Fluorescence Instrument (CheMin) and the Pattern Evaluation at Mars (SAM) Instrument Suite.

“Except for this vital and thrilling exercise, the staff additionally deliberate a wide range of distant sensing actions to review the rocks and setting round Glasgow,” Solar says.

Curiosity Chemistry & Digital camera (ChemCam) distant micro-imager (RMI) photograph taken on Sol 2755, Might 6, 2020.
Credit score: NASA/JPL-Caltech/LANL

Nodular bedrock

Curiosity’s Chemistry and Digital camera (ChemCam) will probably be observing two targets on nodular bedrock, “Polwarth” and “Rob Roy Approach,” which can give researchers perception into how these rocks interacted with water.

One other two targets, “Valsgarth” and “Lunnain,” are situated on much less nodular parts of bedrock, and can assist scientists characterize the everyday composition of the rocks on the drill website.

ChemCam’s closing commentary on this plan is a long-distance picture of “Puffin,” which is a nodular crossbedded portion of the pediment cap.

Curiosity Entrance Hazard Avoidance Digital camera Proper B picture taken on Sol 2756, Might eight, 2020.
Credit score: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Environmental observations

“Numerous Mastcam pictures and mosaics are deliberate, together with a big mosaic of a trough characteristic that continues the protection from a mosaic within the earlier plan,” Solar explains. “A part of this Mastcam mosaic may also develop high-resolution imaging of our workspace, which can assist us goal higher-resolution options in future plans.”

A Mars Descent Imager (MARDI) picture can be to be acquired, and can function the baseline picture for future change-detection observations whereas the rover is parked on the Glasgow drill website.

“Rounding out our plan is a set of environmental observations geared toward characterizing native atmospheric situations,” Solar concludes, “particularly now that we’re getting into the season the place mud exercise could also be selecting up.”


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