John Bridges: Mars Science Laboratory Blog
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We have been examining Ireson Hill and found this unusual 10-15 cm diameter rock- called Passagassawakakeag !
The shape is an almost perfect Dreikanter. That's a German word for a sample in desert or periglacial environments formed by the abrasion of blown sand. Dreikanters typically have a pyramid shape with flat wind-abraded facets.
We have started the second part of the Bagnold Dunes campaign. This NavCam image shows Bagnold dunes in front of Ireson Hill. This first in the current dunes campaign is Called Mapleton.
Good news for the MSL team is that ChemCam is back in operation after having an electrical fault. We have started with a 5 x 1 laser raster on the ripple crests.
We have found another (the 4th) meteorite. The fist sized sample called Ames_Knob - which was analysed by ChemCam - turns out to be composed of Fe and Ni metal. This iron meteorite looks like it fragmented in the martian atmosphere, producing fragments like Ames_Knob and Egg_Rock, Lebanon and Littleton. It is notably fresh and unaltered so may have fallen relative recently, within the last thousands of years perhaps.
I am Geo-Min Science theme lead for todays plan. As usual after 4 years of operations we are doing 3 sols of planning at one go. The plan will actually be executed on Mars in about a week's time.
We have recently identified some extraordinary cracking patterns in the mudstone. We hope to put APXS and the ChemCam laser on them to investigate further.