MISSION UPDATES | November 30, 2016

Sol 1536: Drilling "Precipice"

Written by Ken Herkenhoff, Planetary Geologist at USGS Astrogeology Science Center

The cross-contamination experiment and cleaning of CHIMRA went well, so we are ready to drill into the Precipice target !
Past drilling activities have made use of both rotation and percussion, but percussion has caused intermittent short circuits
occasionally since Sol 911,
so on Sol 1536 we will test the ability of the drill to
acquire a sample using rotation only, without percussion. We expect
that the Precipice target is soft enough that the experiment will go
well, but of course we won't know until we try! Drilling and associated
imaging will require enough power and time that additional observations
could not be added to the plan.

by Ken Herkenhoff
Dates of planned rover activities described in these reports are subject to change due to a variety of factors related to the Martian environment, communication relays and rover status.