Sol 174 Update on Curiosity from USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: Fully Charged30 January 2013
I served as SOWG Chair for Sol 174 planning, which includes the first use of the drill on Mars. Drill tailings will not be collected during this test, which will use only the percussion (not rotation) drilling mode. MAHLI images will be taken before and after the drill activity, so the effect of the percussion on the outcrop target should be easy to assess. To enable SAM analysis of one of the "blank" samples brought from Earth on Sol 175, the Sol 174 plan has to leave the rover batteries nearly fully charged at the time of handover to the Sol 175 plan. This didn't leave much room for activities in addition to the drill test, but we were able to squeeze in ChemCam, DAN, Mastcam, and REMS observations.