Curiosity Mission Updates
Sol 2147: SAM EGA on the Stoer Sample!Written by Mark Salvatore on 08.20.2018
NASA's Mars rover Curiosity acquired this image using its Right Navigation Cameras (Navcams) on Sol 2128 Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
With the successful drilling of the Stoer target two weeks ago, Curiosity has been busy characterizing the surrounding terrain using its remote instrument package, performing contact science in the immediate vicinity to understand the composition and physical nature of the bedrock, and also performing power-intensive lab-quality analyses of the Stoer sample using its onboard analytical instruments. In today's plan, Curiosity will perform an evolved gas analysis (EGA) on the Stoer sample using the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument. EGA analyses are critical towards understanding the volatiles and organic molecules that may be present within the sample. SAM will heat the Stoer sample to very high temperatures, more than 900 degrees Celsius, and will measure the composition of gases (including H2O, CO2, and SO4) that bake out of the sample at each temperature increment. Many mineral species, including clays, sulfates, and carbonates, have diagnostic temperatures at which the volatile compounds are baked away. This EGA analysis will directly complement other chemical (e.g., APXS, ChemCam) and mineralogical (e.g., CheMin) analyses of the Stoer sample, and will be extremely important in understanding how the composition of this sample compares to others along the rover's traverse.
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.