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Topic: Alpha Particle X-Ray Spectrometer

NASA’s Mars Curiosity rover uses it’s Dust Removal Tool for the first time to clean a patch of rock

 

Written by Guy Webster
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity has completed first-time use of a brush it carries to sweep dust off rocks.

Nearing the end of a series of first-time uses of the rover’s tools, the mission has cleared dust away from a targeted patch on a flat Martian rock using the Dust Removal Tool.

The tool is a motorized, wire-bristle brush designed to prepare selected rock surfaces for enhanced inspection by the rover’s science instruments. It is built into the turret at the end of the rover’s arm.

This image from the Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) on NASA's Mars rover Curiosity shows the patch of rock cleaned by the first use of the rover's Dust Removal Tool (DRT). (Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS)

This image from the Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) on NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity shows the patch of rock cleaned by the first use of the rover’s Dust Removal Tool (DRT). (Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS)

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NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity to drill rock in ditch on Mars named Yellowknife Bay

 

Written Guy Webster
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – The NASA Mars rover Curiosity this week is driving within a shallow depression called “Yellowknife Bay,” providing information to help researchers choose a rock to drill.

Using Curiosity’s percussive drill to collect a sample from the interior of a rock, a feat never before attempted on Mars, is the mission’s priority for early 2013. After the powdered-rock sample is sieved and portioned by a sample-processing mechanism on the rover’s arm, it will be analyzed by instruments inside Curiosity.

The NASA Mars rover Curiosity used its left Navigation Camera to record this view of the step down into a shallow depression called "Yellowknife Bay." (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

The NASA Mars rover Curiosity used its left Navigation Camera to record this view of the step down into a shallow depression called “Yellowknife Bay.” (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity to look for possible rock targets for Hammering Drill during Thanksgiving

 

Written by Guy Webster and D.C. Agle
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity completed a touch-and-go inspection of one rock on Sunday, November 18th, then pivoted and, on the same day, drove toward a Thanksgiving overlook location.

Last week, Curiosity drove for the first time after spending several weeks in soil-scooping activities at one location. On Friday, November 16th, the rover drove 6.2 feet (1.9 meters) to get within arm’s reach of a rock called “Rocknest 3.”

NASA's Mars rover Curiosity drove 83 feet eastward during the 102nd Martian day, or sol, of the mission (Nov. 18th, 2012), and used its left navigation camera to record this view ahead at the end of the drive. (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity drove 83 feet eastward during the 102nd Martian day, or sol, of the mission (Nov. 18th, 2012), and used its left navigation camera to record this view ahead at the end of the drive. (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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Martian Rock “Jake Matijevic” analysed by NASA’s Mars Curiosity rover reveals Surprises

 

Written by Guy Webster and D.C. Agle
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – The first Martian rock NASA’s Curiosity rover has reached out to touch presents a more varied composition than expected from previous missions. The rock also resembles some unusual rocks from Earth’s interior.

The rover team used two instruments on Curiosity to study the chemical makeup of the football-size rock called “Jake Matijevic” (matt-EE-oh-vick) The results support some surprising recent measurements and provide an example of why identifying rocks’ composition is such a major emphasis of the mission. Rock compositions tell stories about unseen environments and planetary processes.

This image shows where NASA's Curiosity rover aimed two different instruments to study a rock known as "Jake Matijevic." (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS)

This image shows where NASA’s Curiosity rover aimed two different instruments to study a rock known as “Jake Matijevic.” (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS)

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NASA’s Mars Rover Curiosity completes examination of Maritan Rock “Jake Matijevic”

 

Written by Guy Webster and D.C. Agle
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – NASA’s rover Curiosity touched a Martian rock with its robotic arm for the first time on September 22nd, assessing what chemical elements are in the rock called “Jake Matijevic.”

After a short drive the preceding day to get within arm’s reach of the football-size rock, Curiosity put its Alpha Particle X-Ray Spectrometer (APXS) instrument in contact with the rock during the rover’s 46th Martian day, or sol.

This image combines photographs taken by the Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) at three different distances from the first Martian rock that NASA's Curiosity rover touched with its arm. (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS )

This image combines photographs taken by the Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) at three different distances from the first Martian rock that NASA’s Curiosity rover touched with its arm. (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS )

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NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity finds unusual football sized Rock to Examine

 

Written by Guy Webster and D.C. Agle
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity has driven up to a football-size rock that will be the first for the rover’s arm to examine.

Curiosity is about 8 feet (2.5 meters) from the rock. It lies about halfway from the rover’s landing site, Bradbury Landing, to a location called Glenelg. In coming days, the team plans to touch the rock with a spectrometer to determine its elemental composition and use an arm-mounted camera to take close-up photographs.

The drive by NASA's Mars rover Curiosity during the mission's 43rd Martian day, or sol, (September 19th, 2012) ended with this rock about 8 feet (2.5 meters) in front of the rover. (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

The drive by NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity during the mission’s 43rd Martian day, or sol, (September 19th, 2012) ended with this rock about 8 feet (2.5 meters) in front of the rover. (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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NASA’s Mars Rover Curiosity nears completion of Robotic Arm Tests

 

Written by Guy Webster and D.C. Agle
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – NASA’s Mars Curiosity team has almost finished robotic arm tests in preparation for the rover to touch and examine its first Martian rock.

Tests with the 7-foot (2.1-meter) arm have allowed the mission team to gain confidence in the arm’s precise maneuvering in Martian temperature and gravity conditions. During these activities, Curiosity has remained at a site it reached by its most recent drive on September 5th. The team will resume driving the rover this week and use its cameras to seek the first rock to touch with instruments on the arm.

This set of images from NASA's Curiosity rover shows the inlet covers for the Sample Analysis at Mars instrument opening and closing, as the rover continues to check out its instruments in the first phase after landing. (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

This set of images from NASA’s Curiosity rover shows the inlet covers for the Sample Analysis at Mars instrument opening and closing, as the rover continues to check out its instruments in the first phase after landing. (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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