On Sol 65 (Oct. 11, 2012) of the Mars Science Laboratory mission, NASA's Mars rover Curiosity completed several activities in preparation for collecting its second scoop of soil. Like the first scoop, the next will come from a ripple of sand and dust at "Rocknest," and will be used for cleaning interior surfaces of the sample-handling chambers on the arm.
The Collection and Handling for In-Situ Martian Rock Analysis (CHIMRA) tool on the end of arm shook out remnants of the first scoopful and posed for camera inspection to verify it was emptied. The Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) moved close some loose material on the ground to get a good look. Seeing more detail in the object will help engineers finish assessing whether this loose material from the spacecraft poses any concern for future operations. A raw image from that MAHLI activity is at http://1.usa.gov/Qgs5ha .
Sol 65, in Mars local mean solar time at Gale Crater, will end at 2:22 a.m. Oct. 12, PDT (5:22 a.m., EDT).
Guy Webster 818-354-6278
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.