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

20th September 2016 Sol 1466

20th September 2016 Sol 1466

Posted by jcb36 at Sep 20, 2016 05:30 PM |

We have got down a new self portrait of Curiosity from MAHLI.  This shows the Murray Butte number 12 - where we have just been drilling - in the ChemCam mirror. The drill (succesful at second attempt) is at Quela.  You can see how red and oxidised the tailings are, suggesting changing environmental conditions as we progress through the Mt. Sharp foothills.

9th September 2016 Sol 1455

9th September 2016 Sol 1455

Posted by jcb36 at Sep 09, 2016 02:59 PM |

We are heading toward a new drill site at the base of one the the buttes.  These are the landforms that dominate the landscape at this point in the traverse - The Murray Buttes.These are formed by a cap of hard aeolian rock that has been partially eroded back, overlying the Murray mudstone.

16th August 2016 Sol 1432

16th August 2016 Sol 1432

Posted by jcb36 at Aug 16, 2016 09:51 AM |

The Veins of Mars

http://thepoetryofscience.scienceblog.com/317/the-veins-of-mars/

Dr Samuel Illingworth of Manchester Metropolitan University has written a poem about the sulphate veins on Mars that we have just published about in Meteoritics and Planetary Science.

 

Your crater stands abandoned in the dirt,

As thirsty dreams evaporate for good;

Beneath your dusty surface pressures spurt,

Leaving behind deposits in the mud.

They burn you with their sulphate-silic blood,

And your horizons change beyond repair;

Then ground water appears like a lost flood,

Leaving behind pure sulphur in your lair.

We cut you with a knife and steal without a care.

12th August 2016 Sol 1428

12th August 2016 Sol 1428

Posted by jcb36 at Aug 12, 2016 03:35 PM |

Our latest drill hole - Marimba - has a distinctly reddish colour.  This probably means it has a lot of ferric oxide in it.  This is the sort of mineral signature we are expecting as we get close to Hematite Ridge and suggest the chemistry of the ancient groundwaters and related minerals are changing as we progress up Mt. Sharp.

 

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