Sols 1974-76, February 27, 2018, update by MSL scientist Christopher Edwards: After a successful drill preload test, Curiosity was primed to drill for the first time in about a year. Unfortunately, due to a light downlink from the Mars Odyssey spacecraft, we didn’t get all the images down needed to safely carry out the drill activity in this weekend’s plan. Instead, we’ll push the drill activity out until we get the needed images down to help ensure it will complete successfully! Until then the view of the arm preload activity provides tantalizing hints of great things to come.
However, just because we couldn’t carry out the drill activity as planned, that doesn’t mean the team would let the rover sit idle. In fact, quite the opposite. The science operations team immediately started planning backup science activities. The team decided to carry out activities on two contact science targets with MAHLI imaging and APXS chemistry. These targets, dubbed “Rockall” and “Benbecula”, will continue to help us characterize the composition and fine-scale textures of the bedrock around… [More at link]