Curiosity Mission Updates

NASA's Mars rover Curiosity acquired this image using its Mast Camera (Mastcam) on Sol 2481 Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS
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Mastcam left image of the block we plan to drill this weekend.

Planning today was focused on getting more compositional and textural information on top of this small ridge that we plan to attempt drilling at the weekend. This ridge is representative of one of the units mapped from orbit prior to landing, the "fractured clay bearing unit." We previously drilled two holes into the "smooth clay bearing unit" and it will be interesting to compare the composition and mineralogy of these orbitally distinct units to each other and with the rest of the Murray formation.

We will use ChemCam to investigate the composition of two more spots ("Glen Dessary" and "Canisbay") on the same block that we intend to drill to see if different layers have the same chemistry, and will get Mastcam documentation imaging of these targets.

We had the potential for two separate contact science targets in the plan today and discussed whether we wanted two APXS (chemistry) and MAHLI (imaging) targets or whether we wanted to devote one of those targets to MAHLI oblique imaging of the layers in the block we plan to drill (as opposed to imaging just the top surface). We decided to brush, get APXS and MAHLI on the second potential drill target "Glen Etive 2," and then do the MAHLI oblique imaging to hopefully inform us of the third dimension that we will encounter when we drill, as well as of any sedimentary structures present.

Standard environmental activities rounded out the plan with REMS, RAD, DAN active and passive, Mastcam crater rim extinction and basic tau of the sun, and a Navcam suprahorizon movie.

About this Blog
These blog updates are provided by self-selected Mars Science Laboratory mission team members who love to share what Curiosity is doing with the public.

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.

Tools on the
Curiosity Rover
The Curiosity rover has tools to study clues about past and present environmental conditions on Mars, including whether conditions have ever been favorable for microbial life. The rover carries:



Radiation Detectors

Environmental Sensors

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