Groken drill location. Note the trio of individual drill holes. Curiosity Front Hazard Avoidance Camera Right B image taken on Sol 2918, October 21, 2020.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover is now performing Sol 2918 tasks.

The rover science team has decided to stay at the Groken drill locale a little bit longer to let the robot’s Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument suite have a taste of this interesting new specimen.

Curiosity Mast Camera Right photo acquired on Sol 2917, October 20, 2020.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

That’s the report from Lauren Edgar, a planetary geologist at the USGS Astrogeology Science Center in Flagstaff, Arizona.

Curiosity Right B Navigation Camera image taken on Sol 2917, October 20, 2020.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

A recent one-sol plan is focused on dropping off four portions of the Groken sample to SAM and then conducting an evolved gas analysis.

Power-hungry science

“But SAM can also be pretty power-hungry (that’s what happens when you’re working day and night!), so there wasn’t much room in the plan for other activities,” Edgar notes. That means it was a short but sweet day of planning.

Curiosity Right B Navigation Camera image taken on Sol 2917, October 20, 2020.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

“But I’m excited to learn what SAM thinks of this sample! We’ll pick up some additional science activities in tomorrow’s plan,” Edgar adds.

The science team also readied itself for a virtual team meeting today and Thursday to discuss recent results and upcoming plans.

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