Curiosity update: Quite a diffracting weekend!

NLB_559954253EDR_F0660952NCAM00353M_-br2Sol 1831, September 30, 2017, update by MSL scientist Mark Salvatore: The science team has been waiting quite a long time for this moment. Back in late March, nearly 180 Mars-days ago and when Curiosity was investigating the last stretches of the Bagnold Dunes before continuing towards Vera Rubin Ridge, Curiosity’s scoop gathered a sample called “Ogunquit Beach.” In order to quantitatively determine the mineral assemblage present in this sample of a sand dune, Curiosity would have to deliver the sample to the CheMin X-ray diffractometer instrument. However, because of the ongoing troubles with the arm’s drill feed, Curiosity has been stuck with Ogunquit Beach in “storage” and unable to deliver the sample to CheMin – until this weekend! Tomorrow, at around 7:30am PDT, Curiosity will be given the “all clear” to deliver Ogunquit Beach to CheMin. Throughout the weekend, CheMin will analyze this sample, precisely measuring diffraction data for deriving its mineral assemblage, and will… [More at link]

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