Curiosity Rover Collects Fourth Scoop of Martian Soil
The Chemistry and Camera (ChemCam)
instrument on NASA's Mars rover
Curiosity used its laser and
spectrometers to examine what
chemical elements are in a drift
of Martian sand during the mission's
74th Martian day, or sol (Oct. 20,
This pair of images from ChemCam's
remote micro-imager shows the target,
called "Crestaurum," before and after
it was zapped 30 times by the
instrument's laser. The dark pit
created by the repeated laser hits is
about one-eighth of an inch (3 millimeters)
across. Crestaurum is within the "Rocknest"
patch of windblown dust and sand. It was
selected as a target surfaced with fine-
grain sand. The distance to the target from
the ChemCam instrument at the top of
Curiosity's mast was 8 feet and 10 inches
Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/LANL/CNES/
› Larger view
Curiosity collected this fourth scoop of soil on Sol 74 (Oct. 20). A later scoop will become the first delivered to the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument. While continuing with scooping activities at the "Rocknest" site, the rover also has been examining surroundings with the Chemistry and Camera (ChemCam) and Mast Camera (Mastcam) instruments, and monitoring environmental conditions with the Radiation Assessment Detector (RAD), Rover Environmental Monitoring Station (REMS) and Dynamic Albedo of Neutrons (DAN) instruments of its science payload.
Sol 75, in Mars local mean solar time at Gale Crater, ended at 8:58 a.m. Oct. 22, PDT (11:58 a.m., EDT).
Guy Webster 818-354-6278
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.