Astrogeology Science Center

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

Sol 373: Update On Curiosity From USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: AutoNav

23 August 2013

The autonomous navigation checkout, part of the Sol 372 drive, went perfectly! So "AutoNav" can be used for up to 90 minutes next time. If the software continues to work well, it will be used to drive into areas that cannot be seen from the rover (over hills, for example). The weekend plan… Read More

Sol 372: Update On Curiosity From USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: Record Drive!

22 August 2013

The Sol 371 drive set a new MSL distance record for a single sol, 110 meters. The Sol 372 drive will be shorter, but includes the first test of autonomous navigation ("AutoNav") on the "B" computer. After the Sol 200 anomaly, when the rover swapped to the B computer, problems with the terrain… Read More

Sol 371: Update On Curiosity From USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: Squeezing in Observations

21 August 2013

The Sol 370 drive went well, and the rover stopped near an interesting outcrop. So we're planning as many observations as we can squeeze in before the next drive. Because we can see farther ahead of us than usual, the rover planners are planning to drive 100 meters or more. To allow this longer… Read More

Sol 369: Update On Curiosity From USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: Revving Up

20 August 2013

After taking a week off from MSL tactical planning, I was back on shift as MAHLI/MARDI uplink lead yesterday, planning Sol 369. We are no longer restricted by the offset between Earth and Mars time, so we can plan drives every sol this week. After each drive, we continue to take MAHLI and MARDI… Read More

Update on HI-SEAS from USGS Scientist Oleg Abramov: Wrapping Up

11 August 2013

It’s hard to believe, but this experience is almost over. This was really driven home today, as some of the crewmembers started packing their personal belongings. All we have left is one weekend, which will be filled with wrapping up personal research activities, and Monday, which will… Read More

Sol 360: Update On Curiosity From USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: Touch and Go

9 August 2013

My SOWG Chair shift today was especially busy, as we planned MSL's first "touch and go. The plan is to deploy the arm on Sol 360 for MAHLI and APXS observations of a rock right in front of the rover, then the arm will be stowed for another drive on Sol 361. We are also planning to observe a… Read More

Sol 359: Update On Curiosity From USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: Simple Plan

8 August 2013

The Sol 356 drive went well, so another drive was planned for Sol 358. We are still "restricted," as the post-drive data will not arrive until 10 PM PDT tonight. So the Sol 359 plan includes only untargeted observations. The plan is therefore pretty simple, which is making for an easy SOWG Chair… Read More