Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) was used on October 19, 2015, Sol 1138 to produce this photo. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) was used on October 19, 2015, Sol 1138 to produce this photo.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

 

 

Operators of NASA’s Curiosity rover have scored another successful drill hole on Mars.

Curiosity Navcam Left B image taken on Sol 1138, October 19, 2015. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Curiosity Navcam Left B image taken on Sol 1138, October 19, 2015.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

“Over the weekend Curiosity drilled another hole on Mars at the “Greenhorn” target,” explains Lauren Edgar, a research geologist at the USGS Astrogeology Science Center in Flagstaff, Arizona. “Everything went smoothly and we have another beautiful sample to analyze!”

Now on tap is transferring the sample to the Chemistry & Mineralogy X-Ray Diffraction (CheMin) instrument, leading to analysis of the new specimen of Mars.

Image taken by ChemCam: Remote Micro-Imager on Sol 1139, October 20, 2015. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/LANL

Image taken by ChemCam: Remote Micro-Imager on Sol 1139, October 20, 2015.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/LANL

Observations by Curiosity of the drill hole and surrounding rocks are underway.

Edgar adds that the Chemistry & Camera (ChemCam) is slated to fire its laser and analyze the elemental composition of vaporized materials from targets “Gypsy,” “Tumbleweed,” and “Wrangle” to assess the variability of silica associated with these fracture zones.

Curiosity NavCam image showing drilling operation on Mars. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Curiosity NavCam image showing drilling operation on Mars.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Also scheduled is transferring the “Greenhorn” drill sample to be sieved and dropped off to CheMin for an overnight analysis.

“It will be interesting to see,” Edgar reports, “how this sample compares to the “Big Sky” target!”

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