MISSION UPDATES | March 13, 2023

Sols 3769-3770: Crossing Off Our Liens at Tapo Caparo

Written by Elena Amador-French, Science Operations Coordinator at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory
This image of a drill hole in the Mars dirt was taken by Curiosity on sol 3767.

NASA's Mars rover Curiosity acquired this image using its Mars Hand Lens Imager on March 12, 2023, Sol 3767. Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS. Download image ›

Today’s 2-sol plan wraps up our remaining drill campaign and workspace liens at Tapo Caparo.

Our weekend plan ran successfully though we had a known issue which caused several of our remote sensing activities planned for the weekend to not execute.

Today’s plan was therefore jam packed with recovering any remaining remote sensing observations of our area and some contact science.

For our arm work – the MAHLI instrument will look at two targets: “Tucupita” and “Mariapiri.” We’ll use our APXS instrument to investigate the composition of “Mariapiri” and an offset position of our drill tailings. Tucupita is an interesting potential float rock in our workspace. A float rock is an out of place rock that does not appear to be part of the greater bedrock. On Earth (and Mars) these can appear after eroding from a different stratigraphic unit, for example. Comparing the difference in composition and texture of Tucupita compared to the bedrock in the workspace can provide clues into how the region has eroded over millions of years. The Mariapiri target is a small fracture that formed after we drilled Tapo Caparo. This fracture provides a small window into what the subsurface looks like texturally in the area.

The remainder of today’s plan will pick up our normal environmental monitoring activities.