Astrogeology Science Center

Sol 42 update on Curiosity from USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: Active Neutron Spectrometry

18 September 2012

The Sol 41 drive went well, but we are still on relatively featureless terrain. We planned another drive for Sol 42, and a huge Mastcam mosaic from the new position. It is pointed toward Glenelg and the surrounding area, and will be used to identify interesting targets for future investigations.

Another first-time activity was completed on Sol 41: Active neutron spectrometry during the drive. These data will allow variations in hydrogen (most likely in hydrated, or water-rich minerals) within about 1 meter of the surface to be measured in greater detail. Such variations have already been detected between the places the rover has stopped.

Our work schedule is getting closer to normal workday hours, with first shift starting around 4 AM these days. By the end of September our schedule will be close to that of most Earthlings in California!