MISSION UPDATES | September 2, 2020

Sols 2872-2873: A New Hole on Mars!

Written by Mark Salvatore, Planetary Geologist at University of Michigan
Curiosity's arm on the Mars ground

This image was taken by Front Hazard Avoidance Camera (Front Hazcam) onboard NASA's Mars rover Curiosity on Sol 2870. Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech. Download image ›​

Curiosity successfully drilled into the rock target named “Mary Anning 3,” producing a beautiful new drill hole and associated drill tailings. Over the next several days, the team will command the rover to deliver the drilled sample powder into the different instruments onboard the rover for additional analyses. The rover will also continue its investigation of nearby rock targets that have shown interesting chemical variability over relatively short distances. Chemical variability within rock targets has been previously identified in "Gale Crater" by Curiosity, and can indicate differing amounts of water or oxygen availability, for example, during the formation or subsequent modification of the geologic materials. We’re hoping that the Mary Anning 3 sample and subsequent analyses will help us to understand the mineralogical setting of these observed variations.