Astrogeology Science Center

Sol 574 Update On Curiosity From USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: No Targets to Reach, Let's Drive

18 March 2014

I was traveling again, so was not involved in Sol 574 planning. The Sol 574 tactical planning team considered the option of contact science before driving, but with no interesting targets in the arm workspace, they decided to acquire more ChemCam and Mastcam data instead. Then a drive of about… Read More

Sol 571 - 573 Update On Curiosity From USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: APXS the Observation Tray

17 March 2014

We had the option to perform contact science on Sol 571, but there were not compelling targets within the arm's reach, so an APXS integration on the observation tray was substituted. It had been over a year since such a measurement, which will be useful as a baseline before another sample is… Read More

Sol 569 Update On Curiosity From USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: Toward "The Kimberley"

14 March 2014

The rover moved about 74 meters on Sol 568, and a ~100 m drive along the path toward "The Kimberley" (shown on image) is planned for Sol 569. Mars time continues to shift later relative to Earth time, so no planning is scheduled for Sol 569 to allow a full weekend plan to be developed tomorrow.… Read More

Sol 568 Update On Curiosity From USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: Data Squeeze

12 March 2014

MRO is still in safe mode, but enough data were received via Mars Odyssey to allow another drive to be planned on Sol 568, about 70 meters. Again, the data were received late in the day Pacific time, so there was not enough time to plan science observations beyond the standard background and… Read More

Sol 567 Update On Curiosity From USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: Late Slide Sol - Only Driving

11 March 2014

After I finished my SOWG Chair shifts last week, I took some time off to celebrate my son's birthday. While I was away, the MSL planning schedule transitioned into "late slide sols" because data from the rover arrive late in the day Pacific time. In order to preserve the ability to send commands… Read More

Sol 562 Update On Curiosity From USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: Just Enough Power

6 March 2014

The Sol 561 drive went well, and the rover is in a good location for MAHLI wheel imaging, so the Sol 562 plan includes 4 sets of wheel images.  We had just enough power to add a few science observations, including Mastcam and ChemCam RMI observations of dunes near the base of Aeolis Mons ("Mt.… Read More

Sol 561 Update On Curiosity From USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: Westward Bound

5 March 2014

At the beginning of tactical operations this morning, the plan for Sol 561 was to take a set of MAHLI wheel images. But the nearby terrain was not ideal for wheel imaging, and a safe path ahead was visible, so we decided to drive toward the west again. This didn't leave much power for other… Read More

Sol 560 Update On Curiosity From USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: At JPL

3 March 2014

It's been a while since I traveled to JPL to serve as SOWG Chair for MSL planning, so I decided to spend a few days in Pasadena this week. I'm glad I did, because it would have been much more difficult to get the job done this morning from Flagstaff. Several options were "on the table" including… Read More

Sol 557 - 559 Update On Curiosity From USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: Discipline

28 February 2014

I have been traveling this week to a meeting of the HiRISE (the big camera that has been taking images of rovers from orbit, science team, so am catching up with what MSL has been up to. Drive progress has been good, requiring some discipline on the part of the MSL science team to resist diverting… Read More

Sol 550 Update On Curiosity From USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: Bungle Bungle

21 February 2014

The Sol 549 drive brought the rover close enough to the outcrop dubbed Bungle Bungle to allow MAHLI and APXS measurements, so the Sol 550 plan focuses on contact science. First, ChemCam will zap and image the outcrop, then the arm will be deployed. After the contact science has completed, the… Read More