Astrogeology Science Center

Sol 71 Update on Curiosity from USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: Observation Tray

17 October 2012

The third scoop of soil was successfully acquired, and partly processed by CHIMRA, dumping part of it on the observation tray. So MSL is back on track despite the unavailability of MRO data relay and other communications problems. MRO has exited safe mode and is expected to resume relaying MSL data today. The plan for Sol 71 is to use CHIMRA to sieve the sample and deliver it to CheMin, the mineralogy instrument inside the rover. It will be the first Mars sample for CheMin, an event that has been eagerly anticipated. The Mastcam will then take pictures of CheMin's sample inlet to confirm that all went well. Other Mastcam and ChemCam observations were also planned for Sol 71. I was not scheduled in a tactical role the past 2 sols, so have been catching up on other work before I'm back on as SOWG Chair for Sols 72-74.