Astrogeology Science Center

Sol 689 Update On Curiosity From USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: Mars Science Conference

15 July 2014

Many of the scientists on the MSL team are attending the 8th International Mars Science Conference this week on the Caltech campus in Pasadena. I was pleased to see that 2 of the first 3 speakers were USGS Astrogeology colleagues: The first speaker, Ken Tanaka, introduced the new global geologic… Read More

Sol 687 Update on Curiosity from USGS Scientist Ryan Anderson: Soliday

12 July 2014

Today we received data from sol 685, showing that we drove 60.4 meters, and the rover is busy doing its sol 686 activities right now. Today we are planning sols 687 and 688 to cover the weekend (Sunday is a soliday, which is a day without planning to allow Earth and Mars schedules to sync back… Read More

Sol 686 Update on Curiosity from USGS Scientist Ryan Anderson: Cut Short

11 July 2014

The sol 683 drive was cut a bit short because the rover yaw exceeded the specified limits for the drive, which is a fancy way of saying that the rover steered away from its planned route to avoid an obstacle. The rover drivers tell the rover to stop when a drive deviates too far from the… Read More

Sol 685 Update on Curiosity from MSL Scientist Lauren Edgar: Science Block

10 July 2014

Today we are planning Sol 685, which includes a short pre-drive science block, 2.5 hours of driving, and some post-drive imaging for targeting. The pre-drive science block contains some environmental monitoring including ChemCam passive spectroscopy of atmospheric composition and a Mastcam… Read More

Sol 684 Update on Curiosity from MSL Scientist Lauren Edgar: Recharging

9 July 2014

On Sol 683 Curiosity drove across a ripple to see how the vehicle performs in the loose sand. Today we are planning Sol 684, which is a restricted sol (meaning we don’t have all of the data down from 683 in order to plan another drive), and it’s also a very constrained sol in terms of… Read More

Sol 683 Update On Curiosity From USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: Ripple Driving Test

8 July 2014

The imaging of the rover wheels went well last weekend, and we are ready to drive again on Sol 683. After taking a couple Mastcam mosaics of targets Tecopa and Billie, the rover will drive across one of the nearby ripples and take a lot of Hazcam and Navcam images to see how the vehicle… Read More

Remembering Gordon Swann: 1931 - 2014

7 July 2014

Gordon Swann served as the Principal Investigator of the Apollo Lunar Geologic Experiment for Apollo Missions 14 and 15. In this role, Gordon and his team provided real-time geologic support for the missions from the official Science Operation Room at Mission Control Center, Houston, TX. The team… Read More

Sol 678 - 679 Update on Curiosity from USGS Scientist Ryan Anderson: In the Dunes

4 July 2014

The sol 678 drive was successful! We traversed 66.5 meters, ending our drive right were we expected near some picturesque wind-blown ripples. Looking at these ripples in orbital HiRISE images, you might think they were big sand dunes, but in truth they aren’t very tall at all. On sol 679,… Read More

Sol 678 Update On Curiosity From USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: Maneuvering

3 July 2014

The Sol 677 drive was stopped after almost 20 meters (out of 57 m planned) by the autonomous navigation software, when it detected an obstacle more than 20 cm high. But the rover is healthy and acquired the post-drive data as planned, including Navcam images showing the rover tracks into the… Read More

Sol 677 Update On Curiosity From USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: World Beater

1 July 2014

The Sol 676 drive halted after about 16 meters of progress (out of ~39 m planned) because the rover's yaw diverged too much from the commanded heading. Otherwise, all activities completed as planned and the rover is healthy. So another rapid-traverse drive is planned for Sol 677, preceded by… Read More