Curiosity update: It’s a wonderful day for SAM

2263ML0121070010804967E01_DXXX-br2Sols 2281-83, January 7, 2019, update by MSL scientist Vivian Sun: Today we are continuing the drill campaign at our red Jura target “Rock Hall.” The focus of this weekend’s plan is the dropoff of the Rock Hall sample to the SAM (Sample Analysis at Mars) instrument, which will occur on Sol 2281. During the delivery process, Curiosity will open one of the SAM inlet covers (pictured above) and the rover arm will deposit a portion of the fine rock powder from the drill bit. SAM will then incrementally heat the sample up to very high temperatures and the gases released by this heating process will be analyzed to better understand the chemical and mineralogic components of Rock Hall. The SAM results will be extremely important for complementing the chemical observations from APXS and ChemCam, as well as the recent mineralogic results from CheMin… [More at link]

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