Curiosity Blogs: Sols 2887-2889: Ok CheMin, now it’s your turn!

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We’ve been talking a lot about SAM analyses of the “Mary Anning 3” sample, but in today’s 3-sol weekend plan, it’s CheMin’s turn to shine.  The weekend plan is focused on dropping off part of the “Mary Anning 3” sample to CheMin and analyzing what minerals are present.  The plan also includes preparing SAM for upcoming analyses by cleaning GC columns 1 and 2, and a script update.  


Mars rover Curiosity photo on Sol 2884

This image was taken by Right Navigation Camera onboard NASA's Mars rover Curiosity on Sol 2884 (2020-09-16 12:13:39 UTC). Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

The plan starts with a Mastcam observation of the “Mary Anning 3” drill tailings to monitor the movement of fines by the wind. Then Curiosity will drop off portions of the drill sample to CheMin, which will be analyzed overnight from Sol 2888 into Sol 2889.  The third sol hosts the majority of the remote sensing activities, starting with multiple ChemCam LIBS observations to look for variations in chemistry within typical bedrock and dark nodular outcrop, as well as ChemCam RMI mosaics to document stratigraphy and to investigate the feasibility of extracting stereo information from overlapping RMI images.  Then Mastcam will document all of the ChemCam target locations and expand the workspace imaging to investigate nearby troughs and patterned ground.  Navcam will follow-up with monitoring of fines on the rover deck, measuring dust in the atmosphere, and searching for dust devils.  The plan also includes a science block on the morning of Sol 2890 devoted entirely to atmospheric monitoring during this dusty season on Mars.  I’ll be on duty as SOWG Chair on Monday, so I’m getting caught up and looking forward to hearing what CheMin has to say about this sample!


By Lauren Edgar