Astrogeology Science Center

Sol 399: Update On Curiosity From USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: Long Shift

19 September 2013

Today is my last shift as SOWG Chair this week. The rover is in a stable position, so we were able to plan lots of contact science for Sol 399, including MAHLI and APXS observations of 5 different targets at Waypoint 1. It's a very complex plan, but we were able to add ChemCam and Mastcam… Read More

Sol 398 Update On Curiosity From USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: The Veins

18 September 2013

The short drive to the next contact science location at Waypoint 1 was successful, so we planned a lot of MAHLI images and a couple ChemCam observations of the veins in front of the rover. Planning is still restricted, so these data will not be received in time to plan Sol 399, but will be used… Read More

Sol 397 Update On Curiosity From USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: Blind Observations

17 September 2013

MSL planning is restricted again this week, so Sol 397 was planned without knowing the position of the rover after the Sol 396 drive. Fortunately, there were a number of blind observations that could be scheduled this sol, including repeated Mastcam and Navcam observations of the ground left and… Read More

Sol 392-396 Update On Curiosity From USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: Waypoint 1

13 September 2013

The rover is in position to deploy the arm instruments on outcrops at Waypoint 1, so the weekend plan includes lots of APXS and MAHLI observations. So many contact and remote sensing observations were suggested that we didn't have time to include them all in the plan! A short drive, or "bump" to… Read More

Sol 388 Update On Curiosity From USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: New Record Drive

12 September 2013

I'm back from a week's vacation, catching up on everything that MSL has been doing. A new record for drive distance was set last week, 141 meters! Driving this far required lots of autonomous navigation, which left little time for science observations. Last weekend's plan included contact… Read More

Sol 382 Update On Curiosity From USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: Onward to the Mountain

4 September 2013

Autonomous navigation continues to work well, allowing longer drives into areas not visible from the previous rover location. Today the view ahead is good enough that we are planning to drive over 100 meters, with the last ~45 meters using AutoNav. But driving this far leaves very little time… Read More

Sol 380 Update On Curiosity From USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: Labor Day

31 August 2013

The Sol 379 drive went well, and the rover is in a safe configuration for arm deployment. So we are planning 3 sols today (to get the rover through the Labor Day holiday), including drop-off of sample to SAM and overnight analysis, followed by a drive on the last sol. We packed some more… Read More

Sol 379-380 Update On Curiosity From USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: Hectic Day

30 August 2013

Autonomous navigation continues to work well, and Curiosity completed another long drive on Sol 378. However, the left rear wheel ended up on a ~6 cm rock, which is larger than allowed for safe deployment of the arm. The concern that the wheel might slip off the rock while the arm is moving… Read More

Magmatic Water Found in Lunar Rocks

27 August 2013

Scientists, including USGS Astrogeology Team Member, Justin Hagerty, have detected magmatic water — water that originates from deep within the Moon's interior — on the surface of the Moon. These findings, published in the August 25 issue of Nature Geoscience, represent the first such… Read More

Sol 374 Update On Curiosity From USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: Going Over the Hill

26 August 2013

The Sol 374 drive, including the AutoNav portion, went very well, so an even longer drive is planned for Sol 376. For the first time AutoNav will be used to drive 10 meters over the hill, or beyond the area imaged in stereo by the Navcams after the Sol 374 drive. If the AutoNav software… Read More