Scientists from NASA_ARES at the NASA Johnson Space Center have been, and continue to be involved in the Mars Science Laboratory Mission (Curiosity) at Mars. The Curiosity rover landed in Gusev Crater on Mars in August of 2012 and has been exploring the terrain ever since. After exploring some of the interesting rocks in a region referred to as Pahrump Hills, Curiosity has continued the trek to Mt. Sharp.
After departing Pahrump Hills, Curiosity began investigating an interesting outcrop, called “Garden City,” full of light- and dark-toned veins. The left picture is a Navcam image taken on Sol 930 (sol = a martian day) showing MAHLI taking up-close images of these veins. The upper right picture is a MAHLI image of some of these veins, and the lower right picture is a MAHLI image of the region in the red box. These veins are some of the largest we’ve encountered on the mission (up to ~10 cm wide). Veins suggest water moved through these rocks and deposited minerals in the fractures. ChemCam and APXS measurements will help us determine the chemical composition of the light and dark components. You can check out more raw images of the veins and other outcrops here: http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msl/multimedia/raw/
Stay tuned for additional updates on the Curiosity mission at Mars….