. Mars Exploration News .

Assessing Drop-Off to Mars Rover's Observation Tray
by Staff Writers
Pasadena CA (JPL) Oct 26, 2012

Sample material from the fourth scoop of Martian soil collected by NASA's Mars rover Curiosity is on the rover's observation tray in this image taken during the mission's 78th Martian day, or sol, (Oct. 24, 2012) by Curiosity's left Navigation Camera. The tray is 3 inches (7.8 centimeters) in diameter. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech.

NASA's Mars rover Curiosity used its Mast Camera (Mastcam) during the mission's 78th sol (Oct. 24, 2012) to view soil material on the rover's observation tray.

The observations will help assess movement of the sample on the tray in response to vibrations from sample-delivery and sample-processing activities of mechanisms on the rover's arm.

Curiosity is working with material from the fourth scoop of soil it collected at the "Rocknest" patch of dust and sand. On Sol 77, a sieved portion from this scoop was delivered to the Chemistry and Mineralogy (CheMin) instrument inside the rover.

This is the second soil sample for CheMin analysis. The material from the fourth scoop is also being used to scrub internal surfaces of the rover's sample-processing mechanisms in preparation for delivery of a sample from a later scoop to the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument.

Sol 78 activities included analysis of an atmosphere sample by SAM's Quadrupole Mass Spectrometer and monitoring of environmental conditions by the Rover Environmental Monitoring Station (REMS) and the Radiation Assessment Detector (RAD).

Sol 78, in Mars local mean solar time at Gale Crater, ended at 10:57 a.m. Oct. 25, PDT (1:57 p.m., EDT).


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Curiosity Rover Collects Fourth Scoop of Martian Soil
Pasadena CA (JPL) Oct 23, 2012
NASA's Mars rover Curiosity shook a scoopful of dusty sand inside its sample-handling mechanism on Sol 75 (Oct. 21, 2012) as the third scrubbing of interior surfaces of the mechanism. The rover team is instructing the rover to deliver a sieved sample from this scoopful - the mission's fourth - onto Curiosity's observation tray on Oct. 22 and plans to analyze another sample from the same sc ... read more

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