In the previous plan, Curiosity conducted a preliminary assessment of the potential drill target “Encanto” (as seen in the above MAHLI image) and today we received the data. The drill preload test and contact science data look good, so we are GO for our third attempt to get a sample of this marker band.
Today’s 3-sol plan includes the full drill on the first sol, followed by portion characterization on the second sol, and some remote sensing activities. The team planned ChemCam LIBS on two bedrock targets named “Macucuau” and “Marahuaca” to look for variations in chemistry, as well as a long distance RMI mosaic to evaluate some nodular beds in the nearby cliffs. ChemCam will also acquire RMI images of the drill hole to help with targeting in the next plan, and passive spectra on the drill tailings.
The plan also includes Mastcam imaging of the “Encanto” block to look for changes before and after drilling, plus Mastcam multispectral observations of the drill tailings and a target named “Cacao” to investigate some dark gray float rocks. Curiosity will also be busy looking at the sky, with a number of activities to look for potential noctilucent clouds at twilight, monitor dust in the atmosphere, and search for dust devils.
Hopefully the third time is the charm, and we look forward to seeing results from drilling at “Encanto!”
NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity acquired this image using its Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI), located on the turret at the end of the rover’s robotic arm, on January 19, 2023, Sol 3716 of the Mars Science Laboratory Mission, at 10:45:47 UTC.
When this image was obtained, the focus motor count position was 13017. This number indicates the internal position of the MAHLI lens at the time the image was acquired. This count also tells whether the dust cover was open or closed. Values between 0 and 6000 mean the dust cover was closed; values between 12500 and 16000 occur when the cover is open. For close-up images, the motor count can in some cases be used to estimate the distance between the MAHLI lens and target.
For example, in-focus images obtained with the dust cover open for which the lens was 2.5 cm from the target have a motor count near 15270. If the lens is 5 cm from the target, the motor count is near 14360; if 7 cm, 13980; 10 cm, 13635; 15 cm, 13325; 20 cm, 13155; 25 cm, 13050; 30 cm, 12970. These correspond to image scales, in micrometers per pixel, of about 16, 25, 32, 42, 60, 77, 95, and 113.
Most images acquired by MAHLI in daylight use the sun as an illumination source. However, in some cases, MAHLI’s two groups of white light LEDs and one group of longwave ultraviolet (UV) LEDs might be used to illuminate targets. When Curiosity acquired this image, the group 1 white light LEDs were off, the group 2 white light LEDs were off, and the ultraviolet (UV) LEDS were off.
Curiosity Mars Science Laboratory
Mars News and Information at MarsDaily.com
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What is the Chemistry and Mineralogy Instrument?
Moffett Field CA (SPX) Jan 19, 2023
Minerals are like a time capsule; they provide a record of what the environment was like at the time they formed. Different minerals are linked to different kinds of environments. The temperature, pressure, and chemical ingredients that were present – including water – determine what minerals form and how they are altered.
For example, gypsum is a mineral that contains calcium, sulfur, and water. Anhydrite is a mineral that contains calcium and sulfur, but no water. The Chemistry and Mineralogy (C … read more