MISSION UPDATES | February 11, 2020

Sol 2672: Continuing to Explore Hutton

Written by Mariah Baker, Planetary Geologist at Center for Earth & Planetary Studies, Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum
This image was taken by Left Navigation Camera onboard NASA's Mars rover Curiosity on Sol 2665.

Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech Download image ›

The Curiosity rover is currently located at Hutton, where she successfully completed her 24th drill last week. Once it became clear that the drilling had performed as expected, we began to settle in for our stay here at Hutton; we have been here for 8 sols and we will be here for many more. Today marked “drill sol 4a,” which is characterized by a sample dropoff to CheMin and the first of two CheMin analyses. As we continue working our way slowly through the standard set of activities that accompany every drill campaign, we will also be taking advantage of this stop as an opportunity to collect additional data on targets of interest in the area.

The plan for sol 2672 contained one science block, which the team filled with various remote science activities that will help characterize the drilled material and surrounding surface. Three ChemCam active observations were included in the plan: two will target drill hole material and one will target a nearby vein named “Lanarkshire” (center of the Navcam image above). Additional ChemCam passive measurements will be made on a broken rock named “Dumfriesshire.” Mastcam documentation images were taken of all ChemCam targets; the drill hole documentation image can also be used to search for motion in drill tailings caused by wind. A Navcam zenith movie was the sole atmospheric observation included in the scheduled science block, but the DAN and REMS instruments will also monitor environmental conditions over a large portion of the day. The team is expecting the arrival of much more data over the coming sols as we continue to study the drilled material and explore our workspace!