Astrogeology Science Center

Sol 74 update on Curiosity from USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: Squeezing More In

21 October 2012

As the MSL operations team gets more experience, we are getting more aggressive. In addition to the long-planned arm activities (4th scoop of soil), we added MAHLI images of the far side of the ripple we are scooping, Mastcam mosaics, and ChemCam LIBS observations of a nearby patch of soil during the day and just before dawn. The ChemCam observations are intended to see whether water frost forms on the surface during the night, by comparing the amount of hydrogen seen in the LIBS spectra when the soil is warm and cold. It was my last sol as SOWG Chair, and I was happy that we were able to squeeze so much into the Sol 74 plan.

I'll be taking a few days off from tactical operations this week, traveling to the Bay Area to give an overview of the Curiosity mission at the USGS in Menlo Park.