NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover is now performing Sol 2387 duties.
“The drilling deliberate for final weekend was profitable,” reviews Ken Herkenhoff, a planetary geologist on the USGS in Flagstaff, Arizona.
The latest prime precedence for the robotic is to drop parts of the Kilmarie pattern onto a closed Pattern Evaluation at Mars (SAM) Instrument Suite inlet cowl and take Mastcam photos after every dropoff to characterize the scale of every portion.
“The outcomes of this portioning take a look at shall be used to resolve what number of parts to ultimately drop into SAM,” Herkenhoff provides. After this testing is accomplished, Mastcam will measure the quantity of mud within the ambiance above the robotic by imaging the Solar by way of neutral-density filters, and Navcam will seek for clouds.
Aberlady in focus
The Chemistry and Digicam (ChemCam) Distant Micro-Imager (RMI) is scheduled to accumulate a “stack” of photos of the Aberlady drill gap at numerous focus settings to seek out the very best focus setting for future Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS) elemental chemistry measurements from the rover’s new vantage level, Herkenhoff explains.
“The RMI may even purchase a pair mosaics of the sulfate-rich rocks uncovered within the distance southeast of the rover. Mastcam will measure variations in sky brightness to constrain the scale of mud grains suspended within the ambiance earlier than the rover takes an extended nap,” Herkenhoff reviews.
Additionally on faucet is use of Curiosity’s Chemistry & Mineralogy X-Ray Diffraction/X-Ray Fluorescence Instrument (CheMin). This instrument will vibrate its inlet sieve and dump the Aberlady pattern in preparation for evaluation of the Kilmarie drill pattern.
Slated for Sol 2387 duties, the robotic’s Mastcam will once more measure mud opacity and Navcam will seek for mud devils and clouds.
“ChemCam will then use its laser to measure the fundamental chemistry within the wall of the brand new Kilmarie drill gap,” Herkenhoff notes, “and of a close-by pebble named ‘Quirang’ and a bedrock outcrop named ‘Caledonian Canal.’”
Additionally scheduled is use of the Proper Mastcam to picture all the ChemCam targets earlier than Dynamic Albedo of Neutrons (DAN) activates its neutron generator to seek for hydrogen as much as half a meter under the floor.
Herkenhoff concludes by noting that Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) actions are precluded whereas there may be pattern within the drill stem.