Astrogeology Science Center

Sol 1311: Take Me To Fracture Town

13 April 2016

Today I was on duty as KOP again, but we got to sleep in: we started at 7 am instead of 6:30! Curiosity is in good shape and our drive was successful. In the Sol 1311 plan, we have ChemCam observations of the targets “Garnet Koppie”, “Amspoort”, “Soutrivier”,… Read More

Sol 1310: Good morning Mars!

12 April 2016

Well, that was an early morning! I was on duty as the KOP today and we started at 6:30 am, so I was up and looking at new pictures of Mars before sunrise. Normally I would not be happy about getting up so early, but I reminded myself this morning that getting to help run a nuclear-powered… Read More

Sol 1309: Can't Catch a Break

11 April 2016

We just can’t catch a break lately! Curiosity is healthy but unfortunately the plan for the weekend was not transmitted to Mars due to a Deep Space Network outage. That means that the contact science that was planned for the weekend is lost, but the team decided that it was not important… Read More

Sols 1307-1308: Deja vu all over again

8 April 2016

On Sol 1305, the rover straightened its wheels in preparation for a drive, but then the fault that prevented driving earlier this week occurred again, and the vehicle did not move.  The engineers are preparing to send parameter changes that will eliminate mobility actuator sensitivity to… Read More

Sols 1305-1306: Deja vu

6 April 2016

Once again, the Sol 1303 drive stopped during wheel steering, apparently due to another short in the RTG.  While the power and mobility engineers investigate the fault and ways to respond to them, another drive will be attempted on Sol 1305.  The remote science observations made on… Read More

Sols 1303-1304: Driving Again

4 April 2016

The Sol 1301 drive halted after only 4.5 meters of progress, apparently due to a short in the RTG that caused a steering actuator fault.  This type of fault has occurred before, so we are planning a drive toward the northwest on Sol 1303.  Before the drive, lots of remote sensing… Read More

Sols 1300-1302: Approaching the Edge of the Plateau

1 April 2016

Everything went well in Wednesday’s plan, and we are near the edge of the Naukluft plateau, driving across “Stimson” bedrock. The weekend plan begins on Sol 1300 with three ChemCam observations of the bedrock target “Bero” and fracture targets “Iona”,… Read More

Sols 1298-1299: Drive cut short

30 March 2016

The Sol 1296 drive was halted after only 4 meters of progress because the suspension on the left side of the rover was more tilted than expected.  Suspension checks are routinely included in drive sequences, to keep the vehicle safe, and MSL is indeed safe.  So the Sol 1298 plan… Read More

Sols 1296-1297: Driving Across Rough Terrain

28 March 2016

MSL drove about 17 meters on Sol 1294, continuing over rough terrain.  Some of the images that have been recently received show delicate features that have apparently been formed by windblown sand abrasion.  The path ahead is over more rough terrain, but it looks like we will be able… Read More

Sols 1293-1295: Contact science and driving

25 March 2016

On Sol 1292, Curiosity drove 6 m to the northwest, which put us in a good position for contact science over the weekend.  The three-sol plan starts with ChemCam and Mastcam observations of the targets “Gobabis” and “Zerrissene” to assess the composition of the local… Read More