PIA20270: 'Big Sky' and 'Greenhorn' Drilling Area on Mount Sharp
 Target Name:  Mars
 Is a satellite of:  Sol (our sun)
 Mission:  Mars Science Laboratory (MSL)
 Spacecraft:  Curiosity
 Instrument:  Mastcam
 Product Size:  4532 x 4171 pixels (w x h)
 Produced By:  Malin Space Science Systems
 Full-Res TIFF:  PIA20270.tif (46.14 MB)
 Full-Res JPEG:  PIA20270.jpg (2.171 MB)

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This view from the Mast Camera (Mastcam) on NASA's Curiosity Mars rover covers an area in "Bridger Basin" that includes the locations where the rover drilled a target called "Big Sky" on the mission's Sol 1119 (Sept. 29, 2015) and a target called "Greenhorn" on Sol 1137 (Oct. 18, 2015).

The scene combines portions of several observations taken from sols 1112 to 1126 (Sept. 22 to Oct. 6, 2015) while Curiosity was stationed at Big Sky drilling site. The Big Sky drill hole is visible in the lower part of the scene. The Greenhorn target, in a pale fracture zone near the center of the image, had not yet been drilled when the component images were taken. Researchers selected this pair of drilling sites to investigate the nature of silica enrichment in the fracture zones of the area.

Figure 1 is annotated with the locations of the Big Sky and Greenhorn drilling targets and with color-coded indicators of the amount of silica in targets examined by the laser-firing Chemistry and Camera (ChemCam) instrument. A key on the right shows the percentage of silica (SiO2), by weight, corresponding to the color-coding. Enrichment in silica clearly corresponds to the fracture zones.

Malin Space Science Systems, San Diego, built and operates the rover's Mastcam. The U.S. Department of Energy's Los Alamos National Laboratory, in Los Alamos, New Mexico, developed ChemCam in partnership with scientists and engineers funded by the French national space agency (CNES), the University of Toulouse and the French national research agency (CNRS). NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, manages the Mars Science Laboratory Project for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington. JPL designed and built the project's Curiosity rover.

For more information about the Mars Science Laboratory mission and the mission's Curiosity rover, visit http://www.nasa.gov/msl and http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msl.

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