Astrogeology Science Center

Update on HI-SEAS from USGS Scientist Oleg Abramov: Thermal Imaging

9 July 2013

One of my research goals at HI-SEAS is to take spherical panoramas of various parts of the hab in thermal infrared (or what one of my friends calls “Predator vision”) at various parts of the day. This would map out the major heat sources and sinks, as well as result in an understanding… Read More

Sol 329 Update On Curiosity From USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: Twilight Wins

8 July 2013

I'm MAHLI/MARDI uplink lead today, planning Sol 329, which includes another drive toward Aeolis Mons ("Mt. Sharp"). We are planning MAHLI and MARDI images after the drive, to document the terrain in the new location. On Sol 318, we took MARDI images at various times of day to determine when to… Read More

Sol 326 Update On Curiosity From USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: Road Trip

5 July 2013

We have started the long traverse to the base of Mt. Sharp (Aeolis Mons), the long-term goal of the mission! It may take a year to get there, depending on how many interesting features we find along the way. The challenge for the science team will be to identify the most important targets along… Read More

Sol 324 Update On Curiosity From USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: Finishing Up at Shaler

3 July 2013

We decided to spend a bit more time investigating the "Shaler" outcrop using the arm instruments and ChemCam before starting the long drive to Aeolis Mons or "Mt. Sharp." The Sol 322 data we have received so far look good, and I was glad to see that the MAHLI calibration data I had requested were… Read More

Sol 322 Update On Curiosity From USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: Contacting Shaler

1 July 2013

"Contact science," including APXS and MAHLI close-up observations of a couple of rocks at the "Shaler" outcrop, are being planned for Sols 322 and 323. There are still some concerns about the stability of the rover, so some of these observations may be delayed to Sol 323 to allow more time to… Read More

Sol 311 Update On Curiosity From USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: The Approach

25 June 2013

MSL continues to study the "Shaler" outcrop, slowed a bit by minor driving problems. Last week, the tilt of the rover exceeded the 12-degree limit during a drive toward the center of the outcrop, so the drive had to be commanded again. That drive was successful except that it ended with the left… Read More

Update on HI-SEAS from USGS Scientist Oleg Abramov: Lava Tubes

20 June 2013

We discovered a lot of lava tube skylights of all shapes and sizes near our habitat, and were actually able to enter one of them on a recent EVA. I thought I’d give a summary of that EVA here, along with lots of photos we took along the way. . . Read more on the HI-SEAS website. . .

Sol 308 Update On Curiosity From USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: Shaler

19 June 2013

The rover is approaching the last stop before hitting the road, an outcrop dubbed Shaler. We noticed the Shaler outcrop on our way into "Yellowknife Bay" but did not get close enough to study it in detail. So we plan study Shaler in detail before starting the traverse toward Mt. Sharp (Aeolis… Read More

Sol 303 Update On Curiosity From USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: Nine Degree Tilt

12 June 2013

The approach to Point Lake on Sol 302 went well, allowing the arm to reach the outcrop of interest. However, the rover is tilted over 9 degrees, so we have to wait a sol to confirm that it is stable before planning contact science. Therefore, we could place MAHLI no closer than 10 cm from the… Read More

Sol 302 Update On Curiosity From USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: Point Lake Outcrop

11 June 2013

I'm SOWG Chair again today, planning Sol 302. The Sol 301 drive went well, and we received images after the drive was complete showing the Point Lake outcrop. Unfortunately, they showed that the slopes near the most interesting part of the outcrop are large enough that we would have to spend an… Read More