MISSION UPDATES | February 24, 2020

Sol 2686-2687: The Tail End of the Hutton Drill Campaign

Written by Scott Guzewich, Atmospheric Scientist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center
Studying drill "tailings," gray material surrounding the drill hole.

Studying drill "tailings," gray material surrounding the drill hole. Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS. Download image ›

We’re wrapping up our Hutton drill campaign literally at the tail end. Specifically, today’s plan focused on studying those drill “tailings” (the gray material surrounding the drill hole in this MAHLI image) with ChemCam, Mastcam, MAHLI, and APXS. This phase of the drill campaign helps compare the SAM and CheMin laboratory analyses with the data from our remote sensing instruments of the same material from the drill hole. It’s always interesting to see that Mars’ red color is sometimes literally only skin-deep and underneath can be much more of a lunar gray.

We also packed in a few additional observations of some nearby rock targets, including an intriguing fin-like structure sticking out of the ground nearby called “Dunbartonshire.” We’ll look at it also with MAHLI and APXS on the second night of our 2-sol plan. ENV included a dust devil movie, but has been unable to do much additional long-distance imaging work at our current location due to the cliff surrounding us on three sides blocking our view in most directions.