John Bridges: Mars Science Laboratory Blog

This blog is a record of my experiences and work during the Mars Science Laboratory mission, from the preparation, landing on August 5th 2012 Pacific Time, and onwards...

In addition to the blog, you can find some amazing videos and other content related to the mission, at:

http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msl/multimedia/videos/index.cfm?v=49

John Bridges

26th May 2016 Sol 1352

26th May 2016 Sol 1352

Posted by jcb36 at May 26, 2016 12:57 PM |

We are studying an area called Fracture Town. The aim is to follow up identification of opal to check the extent to which silica has been remobilised by fluids in the sediments. Intriguingly we have found both detrital silica - a mineral called tridymite - probably brought in from silica-rich volcanic rocks, and amorphous silica/opal which might have formed in the sediments.

Opal has also been identified at some of potential ExoMars landing sites so we hope that studying in in Gale with Curiosity will help us understand those occurrences as well.

11th May 2016 Sol 1337

11th May 2016 Sol 1337

Posted by jcb36 at May 11, 2016 09:46 AM |

Sol 1337 means that we have just reached our second martian year since landing in 2012, Here is a birthday cake to the mission from the ChemCam team in Toulouse.

In martian calendar terms we are at aerocentric longitude Ls (L sub s) = 150o which is southern hemisphere, late winter.

9th May 2016 Sol 1336

9th May 2016 Sol 1336

Posted by jcb36 at May 09, 2016 10:27 AM |

We have followed up the Lubango drillhole quickly with another one at a nearby Stimson aeolian sandstone outcrop (Okoruso).  The idea is to compare unaltered sandstone (Okoruso) to altered Lubango.

24th April 2016 Sol 1322

24th April 2016 Sol 1322

Posted by jcb36 at Apr 24, 2016 11:20 PM |

We have just completed our latest drillhole at Lubango. This is a drill into the Stimson sandstone, trying to characterise the silica-rich mineralogy: has it been derived from low temperature fluids after the rock has formed, or were high temperature silica grains brought in by winds as the sandstone was forming? CheMin XRD will help determine the answer as we can constrain the temperature from the identity of the minerals.

I will be Geo Science Theme lead for two sols this week and my colleague Dr Susanne Schwenzer will be joining me to get trained up for this operations role.

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