Sols 1332-1333: Drilling at Okoruso

4 May 2016

Sol 1330 MAHLI DRT Okoruso

Contact science activities on Sol 1330 went well, and we’re ready to drill at “Okoruso.”  As seen in the above MAHLI image, this target looks like pretty typical Stimson bedrock, so it will be helpful to compare to the altered rock that we sampled at Lubango.

Today’s two-sol plan is focused on drilling and MAHLI imaging on the first sol, with a lot of targeted remote sensing on the second sol.  Activities on the second sol include a Mastcam multispectral observation of the drill hole, a large Mastcam mosaic to document the local geology, ChemCam observations of “Kobos” and “Strathmore” to investigate altered and unaltered rocks, and a long distance ChemCam RMI mosaic as part of a change detection experiment.  We’ll also acquire a Mastcam tau, ChemCam passive sky, and Navcam movie to monitor the atmosphere.

I’m impressed by how efficient we’ve become at drilling (we just wrapped up the last drill hole a couple of sols ago).  Sometimes I need to pause and remind myself how unique and exciting this is.  On what seems like just a typical Wednesday, we’re drilling a hole on another planet!  I’m grateful for the skilled operations team that makes this seem so easy, and I’m looking forward to seeing results from the newest drill hole on Mars.

By Lauren Edgar

--Lauren is a Research Geologist at the USGS Astrogeology Science Center and a member of the MSL science team.

Dates of planned rover activities described in these reports are subject to change due to a variety of factors related to the Martian environment, communication relays and rover status.