Curiosity Mastcam Left image taken on Sol 1361, June 4, 2016. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

Curiosity Mastcam Left image taken on Sol 1361, June 4, 2016.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

NASA’s Curiosity rover on Mars is now in Sol 1364.

“The Oudam drill campaign continues to go well, with sample acquired and ready for analysis,” reports Ken Herkenhoff at the USGS Astrogeology Science Center in Flagstaff, Arizona.

The plan for Curiosity on Sol 1364 is to use the Chemistry and Camera (ChemCam) instrument to acquire passive spectra of the drill tailings and a Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS) raster of the wall of the drill hole.

Dumping grounds

Later in the afternoon of Sol 1364, the unsieved portion of the drill sample is to be dumped on the ground and imaged by the rover’s Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) from 25 centimeters to support future planning, Herkenhoff explains.

Curiosity Mastcam Left image taken on Sol 1362, June 5, 2016. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

Curiosity Mastcam Left image taken on Sol 1362, June 5, 2016.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

In the current plan, after dark, the MAHLI – making use of its LEDs for illumination — will take pictures of the inside of the drill hole, the tailings, and the Chemistry & Mineralogy X-Ray Diffraction/X-Ray Fluorescence Instrument (CheMin) inlet.

The Alpha Particle X-Ray Spectrometer (APXS) is then to be placed on the drill tailings for an overnight integration.

Hartmann’s valley

Early on Sol 1365, Herkenhoff adds, the schedule calls for use of the rover’s right Mastcam to extend the mosaic of Hartmann’s Valley, adding 22 images.

That afternoon, the APXS is to be retracted and vibrated to clean it, Herkenhoff says, then the rover’s robotic arm will be moved out of the way for ChemCam and Mastcam observations of the drill tailings.

Curiosity Mastcam Left image taken on Sol 1362, June 5, 2016. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

Curiosity Mastcam Left image taken on Sol 1362, June 5, 2016.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

Curiosity’s Navcam is to be used to search for clouds both near the horizon and at zenith.

Finally, CheMin will analyze the drill sample overnight, Herkenhoff concludes.

Dates of planned rover activities are subject to change due to a variety of factors related to the Martian environment, communication relays and rover status.

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