Help Shape the Future of Space Exploration

Join The Planetary Society Now  arrow.png

Join our eNewsletter for updates & action alerts

    Please leave this field empty

Headshot of Emily Lakdawalla

Curiosity update, sol 227: Some sharpshooting and a dusty deck

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla

29-03-2013 10:50 CDT

Topics: mission status, Mars, Curiosity (Mars Science Laboratory)

Curiosity is back to science operations, though the activities are limited in scope by the fact that conjunction is fast approaching. (When Mars is behind the Sun as seen from Earth, our ability to communicate with our Mars spacecraft is severely limited. Because we can't get data down from them and because we couldn't rescue them if something went wrong, they have to go into a reduced activity period, performing only extremely safe operations producing a relatively low amount of data from a command sequence lasting three weeks or so.)

They've dropped one more sample from the John Klein drill hole to SAM. I noticed in a Mastcam photo of the SAM inlet tubes that the rover has really accumulated some dust over the last few months. Compare the view of those SAM inlet ports taken on sol 90:

SAM inlet ports, sol 90


SAM inlet ports, sol 90

To this view, taken on sol 227:

SAM inlet ports, sol 227


SAM inlet ports, sol 227

If the rover team is still a little cautious with the drill and SAM and Chemin, the ChemCam team has clearly gotten comfortable with their laser gun. Check out this bit of sharpshooting: Chemcam performed a profile up the visible wall of the John Klein drill hole, shooting at five spots inside it and one just outside it.

Pew Pew Pew! Curiosity Chemcam profiles a drill hole, sol 227

NASA / JPL / LANL / CNES / IRAP / Glen Nagle

Pew Pew Pew! Curiosity Chemcam profiles a drill hole, sol 227
On sol 227 (March 27, 2013), Curiosity used its ChemCam to shoot a profile of six laser shots up the visible wall of the John Klein drill hole.

They followed this feat by strafing the tailings pile. Pew pew pew! Jokes about Curiosity's laser are never going to get old. The day I think that shooting things with a laser-equipped robot on Mars is boring is the day I should quit writing about space.

See other posts from March 2013


Or read more blog entries about: mission status, Mars, Curiosity (Mars Science Laboratory)

Facebook Twitter Email RSS AddThis

Blog Search


Our Curiosity Knows No Bounds!

Become a member of The Planetary Society and together we will create the future of space exploration.

Join Us

Featured Images

Hubble's view of Mars during the Comet Siding Spring flyby

Mars from Hubble STIS, April 26, 2012
Hubble's view of Mars on October 19, 2014 (color)
Mars as viewed by Hubble ACS/SBC, May 30, 2014
More Images

Featured Video

View Larger »

Space in Images

Pretty pictures and
awe-inspiring science.

See More

Join the New Millennium Committee

Let’s invent the future together!

Become a Member

Connect With Us

Facebook! Twitter! Google+ and more…
Continue the conversation with our online community!