Curiosity Begins New Drilling Campaign on Mars

by Dr. Ken Kremer, AAAP and Universe Today

Curiosity snaps selfie at Kimberley waypoint with towering Mount Sharp backdrop on April 27, 2014 (Sol 613). Inset shows rovers test drill operation on April 29, 2014 (Sol 615) into “Windjama” rock. Credit: NASA/JPL/MSSS/Marco Di Lorenzo/Ken Kremer

Curiosity snaps a selfie at Kimberley waypoint with towering Mount Sharp backdrop on April 27, 2014 (Sol 613). Inset shows rovers test drill operation on April 29, 2014 (Sol 615) into “Windjama” rock. Credit: NASA/JPL/MSSS/Marco Di Lorenzo/Ken Kremer

NASA’s Curiosity has begun her next drilling campaign on the Red Planet after scrutinizing an enticing slab of sandstone rock at “The Kimberley Waypoint”. See herein my custom photomosaics from Kimberley.

The team directed the Curiosity rover to bore a test hole into a Martian rock target at Kimberley called “Windjana” on April 29 which exhibited interesting bumpy textures. It was 0.63 inch (1.6 centimeters) in diameter and to a depth of about 0.8 inch (2 centimeters) using the hammering drill at the terminus of the robotic arm. A decision about full drilling is planned in coming days, NASA press officer Guy Webster told me.

Windjana is an outcrop of sandstone located at the base of a Martian butte named Mount Remarkable at “The Kimberley Waypoint” – a science stopping point reached by the rover in early April 2014 along its epic trek to towering Mount Sharp, the primary destination of the mission. Windjana is named after a gorge in Western Australia.

Multisol composite photo mosaic shows deployment of Curiosity’s rovers robotic arm and APXS X-ray spectrometer onto the ‘Winjana’ rock target at Mount Remarkable for evaluation as missions 3rd drill target on Mars.  Navcam raw images stitched together from Sol 612, April 26, 2014.   Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Ken Kremer/Marco Di Lorenzo

Multisol composite photo mosaic shows deployment of Curiosity’s rovers robotic arm and APXS X-ray spectrometer onto the ‘Winjana’ rock target at Mount Remarkable for evaluation as missions 3rd drill target on Mars. Navcam raw images stitched together from Sol 612, April 26, 2014. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Ken Kremer/Marco Di Lorenzo

“Kimberley was chosen as a science destination because it has interesting, complex stratigraphy,” Curiosity Principal Investigator John Grotzinger, of the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, told me.
Curiosity departed the ancient lakebed at the Yellowknife Bay region in July 2013 where she discovered a habitable zone with the key chemical elements and a chemical energy source that could have supported microbial life billions of years ago – and thereby accomplished the primary goal of the mission.

For more about Curiosity read my articles here:

http://www.universetoday.com/111596/curiosity-bores-into-kimberley-rock-after-inspection-unveils-enticing-bumpy-textures/

http://www.universetoday.com/111538/curiosity-reaches-out-to-scrutinize-next-martian-drill-target-at-mount-remarkable/

http://www.universetoday.com/111497/curiosity-captures-first-ever-asteroid-images-from-mars-surface/

The next Antares/Cygnus rocket launch from nearby Virginia to the ISS is set for overnight on June 10. Contact Ken if interested to attend.

Astronomy Outreach      by Dr. Ken Kremer

Mercy College:   Dobbs Ferry, NY, May 19.  “Curiosity, MAVEN and the Search for Life on Mars – (in 3-D)”

Antares Rocket Launch to ISS, June 10: NASA Wallops Island, VA. Evening outreach Jun 9-10 at Rodeway Inn, Chincoteague, VA.

Please contact Ken for more info, science outreach presentations and his space photos. Email: kremerken@yahoo.com   website:  www.kenkremer.com, http://www.universetoday.com/author/ken-kremer/

Advertisements
This entry was posted in May 2014, Sidereal Times and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s