Author Topic: Curiosity Rover to Scoop Up 1st Mars Samples This Weekend  (Read 673 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Online Buster's Uncle

  • Celebrating AC2's 10th Year- Little Terraformer That Could
  • Ascend
  • *
  • Posts: 47329
  • €795
  • View Inventory
  • Send /Gift
  • Because there are times when people just need a cute puppy  Soft kitty, warm kitty, little ball of fur  Someone thinks a Winrar is You!  
  • AC2 is my instrument, my heart, as I play my song.
  • Planet tales writer Smilie Artist Custom Faction Modder AC2 Wiki contributor Downloads Contributor
    • View Profile
    • My Custom Factions
    • Awards
Curiosity Rover to Scoop Up 1st Mars Samples This Weekend
« on: October 05, 2012, 12:26:34 PM »
Curiosity Rover to Scoop Up 1st Mars Samples This Weekend
By Mike Wall | – 14 hrs ago.. .

NASA's Mars rover Curiosity will scoop up its first batch of Martian soil samples this weekend, scientists announced today (Oct. 4).
The 1-ton Curiosity rover arrived at a sandy patch called "Rocknest" on Wednesday (Oct. 3). Mission scientists have deemed it a good spot for the robot's maiden scooping activities, which should begin Saturday (Oct. 6), if all goes according to plan.
Curiosity's scoop system, which sits at the end of its 7-foot (2.1-meter) robotic arm, is designed to deliver samples into two analytical instruments on the rover's body — SAM (Sample Analysis at Mars) and CheMin (Chemistry and Mineralogy). But Martian sand from the first few scoops won't make it that far; rather, it'll be used to clean out the handling system, researchers said.
"We want to be sure the first sample we analyze is unambiguously Martian, so we take these steps to remove any residual material from Earth that might be on the walls of our sample handling system," Curiosity sampling system scientist Joel Hurowitz, of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., said in a statement.
The cleaning method is basically sandblasting, with Curiosity vibrating the sampling system vigorously for several hours. [7 Biggest Mysteries of Mars]
"We effectively use [the sand] to rinse our mouth, right, three times, and then kind of spit up," JPL's Daniel Limonadi, Curiosity surface sampling phase lead, told reporters today.

 SAM and CheMin are the core science instruments aboard Curiosity, and are crucial to its quest to determine if Mars has ever been capable of supporting microbial life. The rover team therefore wants to make sure that the sampling system feeding the two instruments is working properly, so they plan to take their time testing things out.
Indeed, Curiosity will likely remain at Rocknest for the next two to three weeks, with the first bits of soil only dropping into SAM and CheMin for analysis toward the end of that stretch, team members said.
"This is the most complicated thing. It's an EDL-like challenge, you know, to get these samples through the system," said Curiosity mission manager Mike Watkins of JPL, referring to the rover's harrowing entry, descent and landing inside Mars' Gale Crater on the night of Aug. 5.
"Bear with us as we go through the next couple of weeks here," he added.

Curiosity is on its way to a site called Glenelg, where three different types of Martian terrain come together. Glenelg lies about 330 feet (100 m) east of Rocknest, researchers said, and Curiosity will hit the road again when its scooping trial is done.
Once at Glenelg, the rover team will likely begin looking for suitable rocks to test out Curiosity's drill for the first time. The drill check-out will be complicated as well, taking at least as long as the rover's first scooping activity, Watkins said.
While Curiosity is rumbling toward Glenelg, the rover's main science target is the base of Mount Sharp, which rises 3.4 miles (5.5 kilometers) high from Gale Crater's center. The mountain's foothills show signs of long-ago exposure to liquid water.
Mount Sharp's interesting mineral deposits lie about 6 miles (10 km) away from Curiosity's landing site. The rover could be ready to begin the long trek by the end of the year, scientists have said.
Curiosity is nearly two months into a planned two-year mission on the surface of Mars. It has put 1,588 feet (484 m) on its odometer to date, researchers said.


* User

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length

Select language:

* Community poll

SMAC v.4 SMAX v.2 (or previous versions)
21 (7%)
XP Compatibility patch
9 (3%)
Gog version for Windows
89 (30%)
Scient (unofficial) patch
34 (11%)
Kyrub's latest patch
14 (4%)
Yitzi's latest patch
87 (30%)
AC for Mac
2 (0%)
AC for Linux
6 (2%)
Gog version for Mac
11 (3%)
No patch
15 (5%)
Total Members Voted: 288
AC2 Wiki Logo
-click pic for wik-

* Random quote

Man is a rope, tied between beast and overman?a rope over an abyss. A dangerous across, a dangerous on-the-way, a dangerous looking-back, a dangerous shuddering and stopping. What is great in man is that he is a bridge and not an end: what can be loved in man is that he is an overture and a going under. I love those who do not know how to live, for they are those who cross over.
~Friedrich Nietzsche 'Thus Spoke Zarathustra', Datalinks

* Select your theme