John Bridges: Mars Science Laboratory Blog
In addition to the blog, you can find some amazing videos and other content related to the mission, at:
We have started our 19th drill or scoop. Curiosity now aims to drill at regular elevation intervals (25 m) as we progress up through the Murray formation. This will give us a representative set of mineral and compositional analyses so that we can track any environmental changes.
In this HazCam image we are using the Dust Removal Tool on the robotic arm turret. This drill will also be the first where we use a different drilling technique - percussionless - as this had caused some problems in past drilling. As the Murray mudstone is soft, the rotary only action is likely to be sufficient.
We have found an iron meteorite - called Egg Rock. Curiosity was close enough to determine that it is composed of iron, with some nickel.The textureson the urface shows regmaglypts wher the atmosphere ablated the iron. It seems to have s fresh, unweathered surface suggesting it fell relatively recently in the Mars past, long after the underlying sediments were exposed and eroded.
This is the 3rd iron meteorite we have found in Gale - the others were analysed (without ChemCam LIBS) on sol 640 - Lebanon and Littleton.
Curiosity has been drilling at Sabina as we continue our Murray formation investigations.
Meanwhile Trace Gas Orbiter has successfully been placed in orbit. The TGO will follow up the discovery of methane in the Mars’ atmosphere made by Curiosity’s SAM and Mars Express, and ground-based observations in the infrared spectrum of methane in the atmosphere.
@uniofleicester are part of the CaSSIS stereo camera on @ESA_TGO which we will use to help characterise recent surface processes.
Some data has been sent back after release from TGO by the Schiaparelli technology demonstrator lander but no signal sent back to indicate a succesful landing. Hopefully the data will be sufficient to work out what happened during descent.
This MAHLI mosaic view of Curiosity and Murray Butte no. 12 is where we have just been drilling Quela - the 14th drillhole on Mars.
This also marks the beginning of Curiosity's 2nd extended mission on Mars: 14 drill holes and 15 m driven so far...