Astrogeology Science Center

Sol 992: Marias Pass

21 May 2015

By Lauren Edgar Curiosity conquered the hill on Sol 991, and we were rewarded with a beautiful view of Marias Pass.  The 22 m drive on Sol 991 brings our total odometry to 10,556 m. In today’s plan, Curiosity will acquire ChemCam and Mastcam observations on the targets… Read More

Sol 991: Taking the high road

20 May 2015

By Lauren Edgar After assessing a few different drive paths to deal with the challenging terrain, the team decided to drive uphill to avoid crossing the ripples near Jocko Butte.  On Sol 990, Curiosity drove 52 m back towards Mt. Shields, which puts our total odometry at 10,533… Read More

Sol 990: ChemCam Autofocus Software

19 May 2015

by Ken Herkenhoff Testing of the new ChemCam automatic focusing software continues to go well--the instrument is returning well-focused data of the quality we got used to early in the mission.  The MAHLI test data acquired on Sol 989 are also looking good; here's an image of the penny… Read More

Sol 987-989: Back at Jocko Butte

18 May 2015

by Ryan AndersonThe backwards drive on sol 986 was successful, and over the weekend, Curiosity drove back toward “Jocko Butte”. Before the drive on sol 987, ChemCam had a 5x1 observation of the target “Mill”, accompanied by a Mastcam image. Mastcam also took a small 2x2… Read More

Sol 986: Finding a Path

15 May 2015

by Ryan AndersonWe’ve been having trouble with the path we originally wanted to take through the sand toward the interesting geology at “Mt. Stimson”, so in today’s plan we are going to take a careful look around to identify better routes. Mastcam has a 13x3 mosaic in the… Read More

Sol 985: High Tilt

14 May 2015

by Ken Herkenhoff Once again, excessive wheel slippage prevented MSL from driving as far as planned, so the tactical team decided to take a break from driving to allow various options to be studied in more detail.  The rover is tilted 21 degrees, the highest tilt of the mission so far,… Read More

Sol 984: Slippery sand

13 May 2015

 by Ken HerkenhoffThe MSL tactical team took a day off yesterday to allow Earth and Mars time to synch up; planning is no longer restricted and we will be working every day the rest of this week (including Saturday).  Despite efforts to avoid sandy areas, the Sol 983 drive stopped… Read More

Sol 983: More sand traps

11 May 2015

 by Ken Herkenhoff The Sol 981 drive got the rover around the troublesome ripples and to the desired location, which gave us a good view of the terrain ahead.  Unfortunately, the images taken from the new location show more sandy ripples between the rover and the sharp transition… Read More

Sols 980-982: Dodging Sand, Updating ChemCam

8 May 2015

by Ryan Anderson The Sol 978 drive stopped after going only a couple meters instead of the expected ~19 meters because Curiosity detected that its wheels were slipping in the sand. The rover periodically takes pictures of its surroundings while driving to make sure that it is actually moving… Read More

Sol 978-979: Jocko Chute

6 May 2015

by Ryan AndersonThe sol 976 drive was successful and we are close to “Jocko Chute” (our informal name for the saddle point west of Jocko Butte). In the sol 978 plan, we have a ChemCam LIBS observation of a patch of exposed bedrock called “Big Salmon”, followed by lots of… Read More