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10.22.2012

Curiosity Rover Collects Fourth Scoop of Martian Soil

Laser Hit on Martian Sand Target, Before and After
Laser Hit on Martian Sand Target, Before and After
The Chemistry and Camera (ChemCam) instrument on NASA's Mars rover Curiosity used its laser and spectrometers to examine what chemical elements are in a drift of Martian sand during the mission's 74th Martian day, or sol (Oct. 20, 2012).

NASA's Mars rover Curiosity shook a scoopful of dusty sand inside its sample-handling mechanism on Sol 75 (Oct. 21, 2012) as the third scrubbing of interior surfaces of the mechanism. The rover team is instructing the rover to deliver a sieved sample from this scoopful -- the mission's fourth -- onto Curiosity's observation tray on Oct. 22 and plans to analyze another sample from the same scoopful with the Chemistry and Mineralogy (CheMin) instrument this week.

Curiosity collected this fourth scoop of soil on Sol 74 (Oct. 20). A later scoop will become the first delivered to the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument. While continuing with scooping activities at the "Rocknest" site, the rover also has been examining surroundings with the Chemistry and Camera (ChemCam) and Mast Camera (Mastcam) instruments, and monitoring environmental conditions with the Radiation Assessment Detector (RAD), Rover Environmental Monitoring Station (REMS) and Dynamic Albedo of Neutrons (DAN) instruments of its science payload.

Sol 75, in Mars local mean solar time at Gale Crater, ended at 8:58 a.m. Oct. 22, PDT (11:58 a.m., EDT).

2012-332

Guy Webster 818-354-6278

Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.

guy.webster@jpl.nasa.gov


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