Curiosity Mission Updates
Sol 2114: Finishing Up at the Voyageurs Drill SiteWritten by Mark Salvatore on 07.17.2018
NASA's Mars rover Curiosity acquired this image using its Mast Camera (Mastcam) on Sol 2112 Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS
After our attempt to drill the Voyageurs target did not reach sufficient depth due to the impressive hardness of the rock , the team is beginning to finish up its activities at this location before heading a bit further uphill to find a more suitable (i.e., softer) drill target. All evidence suggests that this rock target is one of the hardest yet observed in Gale crater, a property that may be indicative of this entire section of the Vera Rubin Ridge. To a geologist, variations in rock hardness could indicate several different physical and chemical properties about a rock. It is important for us to further characterize and understand why this rock unit is so much harder than the underlying rocks within the Murray formation. Could this increased hardness be related to changes in water chemistry as the sedimentary rocks were being deposited? Or, could this increased hardness be due to subsequent cementation as iron-rich water was injected into the previously deposited sedimentary rocks? In order to address these possible formation mechanisms (and countless others), we must continue to gather data on the physical, chemical, and mineralogical properties of this portion of the Vera Rubin Ridge.
About this Blog
These blog updates are provided by self-selected Mars Science Laboratory mission team members who love to share what Curiosity is doing with the public.
Dates of planned rover activities described in these reports are subject to change due to a variety of factors related to the Martian environment, communication relays and rover status.