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Astrogeology Science Center

Sol 1060: GO for drilling!

30 July 2015

It’s another exciting day on Mars!  Curiosity is investigating some high-silica targets at an outcrop named “Lion.”  The team selected the “Buckskin” target to drill, and we successfully completed a mini drilling test yesterday (shown in the above MAHLI… Read More

Sol 1059: Drill Testing and Analyzing "Ch-paa-qn"

29 July 2015

Today the main event is a “mini-start hole”, which is the name for a new type of initial drilling test that we are trying out on the target “Buckskin”. This test will drill a small hole in the rock to help determine whether it is safe to go ahead with the full hole. In… Read More

Sol 1057-1058: Getting Ready to Drill Buckskin

27 July 2015

The “bump” over the weekend was successful, so we are right where we want to be to attempt drilling at “Buckskin” in the “Lion” area. I was on duty as ChemCam sPUL (science payload uplink lead) today, and it was a fun day to be on duty. Sometimes it can be… Read More

Sol 1055-1056: Closing in on High-Silica Targets

24 July 2015

The main priority in today’s plan is to nudge the rover a bit closer to the target “Buckskin”, which is in the area where we have discovered rocks high in silica and hydrogen. But before we do that, ChemCam and Mastcam will observe the targets “Marent”,… Read More

Sols 1051-1054: Approaching "Lion"

22 July 2015

After driving just over 20 meters, the rover stopped 4.4 meters short of the Sol 1049 drive goal because the vehicle pitch exceeded the 15-degree limit set by the rover drivers.  So another 6.4-meter drive toward the bright outcrop of interest, dubbed "Lion," was planned for Sol… Read More

Sols 1048-1050: Test drill and drive

17 July 2015

 The Sol 1046 wheel imaging completed nominally, and the rover is a little over 1 meter from its previous location.  So the outcrop to the right of the vehicle is still close enough for ChemCam LIBS measurements, and I helped select new targets again today.  The Sol 1048 plan… Read More

Sols 1046-1047: Wheel imaging

15 July 2015

 The 8.5-meter Sol 1044 drive completed as planned, leaving the rover in a relatively flat and smooth area that is suitable for imaging of the wheels.  Wheel imaging is done periodically to assess wear, and it's time to acquire new data, so the Sol 1046 includes 5 sets of MAHLI,… Read More

Sol 1044-1045: Finishing the Drive

13 July 2015

The drive over the weekend stopped a bit early (~17 meters instead of the intended ~25 meters) because the software that the rover uses to monitor its drive progress was being extra cautious. The rover is fine, and in the sol 1044 plan we will keep driving. Before the drive, ChemCam has… Read More

Sols 1041-1043: Busy weekend planned

10 July 2015

The rover bumped back 33 cm on Sol 1039, placing all 6 wheels on firm ground and allowing contact science on the bright rocks near the top of the slope in front of the vehicle.  So the weekend plan is a full one, including both contact science and a drive back toward the southwest. … Read More

Sols 1039-1040: Livin' on the Edge

8 July 2015

 I'm MAHLI/MARDI uplink lead today, and was ready this morning to plan lots of MAHLI imaging of the bright rocks on the slope the rover first climbed on Sol 991.  But the data received after the 5.5-meter drive on Sol 1037 showed that the left front wheel is perched right at the top… Read More