Sols 2729-2730: Keeping It Clean

Many of us on Earth are being especially diligent lately about washing our hands for at least 20 seconds after touching a new surface. On Mars, Curiosity is used to doing something a little bit similar, but for a very different reason: to prevent cross-contamination between samples taken at different locations. Of course, the lack of water and soap prevents the rover from “washing,” but we still have to make sure the rover’s instruments stay as clean as possible after touching a new surface. On Monday’s plan, we placed the rover’s arm over the drill tailings from our Edinburgh drill hole to study them with APXS and MAHLI (see image above). In today’s plan, we’ll retract the arm from that position and stow it so we can drive away. During that process, we swing the turret back-and-forth to shake off and remove any bits of sand or dust that may have been clinging to APXS so when we next use it, APXS only measures materials at the new location and nothing that came with us from Edinburgh.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *