Sol 170 - 171 update on Curiosity from USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: Preload Testing27 January 2013
Preparations for the first drilling activities continue to go well. The focus of the Sol 170 and 171 plans was to test the ability of arm to press the drill against the surface. Four targets were selected for the "preload" testing, and the arm was left pressed against one of them overnight, to see how the pressure changed with temperature. I was MAHLI uplink lead over the weekend, and helped plan images of the 4 targets before and after the preload tests. The goal of these images is to look at changes in the surface caused by pushing the drill against it.