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

31st August 2015 Sol 1091

31st August 2015 Sol 1091

Posted by jcb36 at Aug 31, 2015 08:55 PM |

I am Geo Science Theme Lead today (Geo STL).  Our top priority is to retake the APXS compostional analyses  on the Buckskin drill tailings, as we missed first time around. This Navcam image shows APXS placed over the tailings on a  flat rock surface.

The outcrop in front of us is called Williams. It has some striking crossbedding, probably due to the flow of ancient rivers into Gale Crater.  However, ChemCam has shown us that there is a great compositional variation in this outcrop so we are going to spend an extra day here before driving off.  A question is whether the compositional variation is due to remobilisation of elements by  fluids or reflects variations in the source material.

19th August 2015 Sol 1079

19th August 2015 Sol 1079

Posted by jcb36 at Aug 19, 2015 07:14 PM |

This fantastic new selfie has just been returned.  It is a mosaic of images from MAHLI taken over our recent drill site at Buckskin. Buckskin has turned out to be very silica rich and very hydrated.  They key to where the water is locked in the rocks will be in the detail of the ChemCam and CheMin analyses.

You can see more MAHLI images over Buckskin here:

http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/spaceimages/details.php?id=pia19808

 

 

1st August 2015 Sol 1060

1st August 2015 Sol 1060

Posted by jcb36 at Aug 01, 2015 02:02 AM |

Successful drilling at Buckskin!  Like the other drill holes this is showing how thin red Mars is.

30th July 2015 Sol 1059

30th July 2015 Sol 1059

Posted by jcb36 at Jul 30, 2015 05:39 PM |

We have started drilling at Belkin, first a minidrill hole before the main drill hole.  Belkin has been chosen because this sedimentary horizon  has some very high silica enrichments. That may have occurred as the Gale sediments were altered by subsurface fluids after burial.  As the basaltic composition was altered (as we saw from the clay and Fe oxide at Yellowknife Bay) ultimately a lot of silica is released which can  be precipitated at horizons like this.

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