PIA16194: Too Big for the Sieve
Target Name: Mars
Is a satellite of: Sol (our sun)
Mission: Mars Science Laboratory (MSL)
Spacecraft: Curiosity
Instrument: CHIMRA
Mastcam
Product Size: 1498 x 1199 pixels (width x height)
Produced By: Malin Space Science Systems
Full-Res TIFF: PIA16194.tif (5.39 MB)
Full-Res JPEG: PIA16194.jpg (229.6 kB)

Click on the image above to download a moderately sized image in JPEG format (possibly reduced in size from original)

Original Caption Released with Image:

In this image, the scoop on NASA's Curiosity rover shows the larger soil particles that were too big to filter through a sample-processing sieve that is porous only to particles less than 0.006 inches (150 microns) across. After a full-scoop sample had been vibrated over the sieve, this held-back portion was returned to the scoop to be accessible for inspection by the rover's Mast Camera. The image is part of the first "decontamination" exercise by the Collection and Handling for In-Situ Martian Rock Analysis (CHIMRA) tool on the end of the rover's arm, which includes the scoop, the sieve and other components.

The decontamination exercise involved scooping some soil, shaking it thoroughly inside the sample-processing chambers to scrub the internal surfaces, putting it through a sieve, dividing it into the appropriate portions and then discarding the sample. This process will be repeated three times. The rinse-and-discard cycles serve a quality-assurance purpose similar to a common practice in geochemical laboratory analysis on Earth.

This image was taken by Curiosity's right Mast Camera (Mastcam-100) on Oct. 10, 2012, the 64th sol, or Martian day, of operations. Scientists white-balanced the color in this view to show the Martian scene as it would appear under the lighting conditions we have on Earth.

JPL manages the Mars Science Laboratory/Curiosity for NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington. The rover was designed, developed and assembled at JPL, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.

For more about NASA's Curiosity mission, visit: http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/msl, http://www.nasa.gov/mars, and http://marsprogram.jpl.nasa.gov/msl.

Image Credit:
NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

Image Addition Date:
2012-10-11