Barely visible laser shots within newly drilled hole. Curiosity Mastcam Right image acquired on Sol 2263, December 18, 2018.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover has just begun Sol 2265 tasks.

“We are still very excited and happy that the final drill hole, “Rock Hall,” on Vera Rubin Ridge was successful over the weekend,” reports Kristen Bennett, a planetary geologist at the USGS in Flagstaff, Arizona.

“Now we get to analyze the drilled sample with rover instruments…and the big event will be delivering some of the Rock Hall sample to the CheMin [Chemistry & Mineralogy X-Ray Diffraction] instrument.

Drill hole

Additionally, Curiosity’s Chemistry and Camera (ChemCam) Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS) device is planned to target the drill hole to understand the chemistry, and a Mastcam 360-degree mosaic is planned to document the surroundings around the drill hole, Bennett explains.

Curiosity Mastcam Left photo taken on Sol 2263, December 18, 2018.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

“Although the drill was successful over the weekend, a few of the remote science observations were not obtained,” Bennett adds.

Curiosity Mastcam Right image acquired on Sol 2263, December 18, 2018.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

To recover some of those observations, Bennett concludes, the plan for the Mars robot was to retake the “Lairig Ghru” Mastcam observation that would document layering near Curiosity.

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