Astrogeology Science Center

Sol 303 Update On Curiosity From USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: Nine Degree Tilt

12 June 2013

The approach to Point Lake on Sol 302 went well, allowing the arm to reach the outcrop of interest. However, the rover is tilted over 9 degrees, so we have to wait a sol to confirm that it is stable before planning contact science. Therefore, we could place MAHLI no closer than 10 cm from the… Read More

Sol 302 Update On Curiosity From USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: Point Lake Outcrop

11 June 2013

I'm SOWG Chair again today, planning Sol 302. The Sol 301 drive went well, and we received images after the drive was complete showing the Point Lake outcrop. Unfortunately, they showed that the slopes near the most interesting part of the outcrop are large enough that we would have to spend an… Read More

Sol 301 Update On Curiosity From USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: Recovery Sequence

10 June 2013

The MSL activities planned for last weekend went well, except for a ChemCam instrument problem on Sol 300. Fortunately, it's not serious and the Sol 301 plan includes ChemCam recovery sequences. If they go well we will be able to use ChemCam again on Sol 302. The Sol 301 plan includes another… Read More

Sol 291 Update On Curiosity From USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: The Drill Hole Walls

31 May 2013

I'm not on shift in any tactical operations roles, but have been helping finish up important observations in the "Cumberland" area before we drive away next week. In particular, I have been leading the effort to take MAHLI images of the drill hole walls at night, using the LEDs to illuminate the… Read More

Sol 289 Update On Curiosity From USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: Heating Up

29 May 2013

Yesterday I was Geology/Mineralogy Science Theme Lead for the first time in months, so I was a bit rusty. We tried to fit some MAHLI imaging into the plan, along with overnight CheMin analysis of the Cumberland drill sample, but didn't have enough power. However, we were able to plan a… Read More

Sol 282 Update On Curiosity From USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: Self Portrait

23 May 2013

I was MAHLI uplink lead again for Sol 282, and helped plan images of the SAM and CheMin sample inlets to verify that samples were delivered properly. The plan also included sample dropoff to CheMin and overnight analysis. It's nice to see that the updates to the MAHLI "self portrait" of the rover… Read More

Sol 280 Update On Curiosity From USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: Drilling Success!

20 May 2013

The drilling at "Cumberland" went perfectly. The MAHLI images that we planned for Sol 279 came out well. So the plan for Sol 281 includes sieving of the sample and feeding some of it to SAM. This will happen late in the afternoon, when winds are expected to be low, to avoid loosing some of the… Read More

Sol 277 Update On Curiosity From USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: Drill, Baby, Drill!

17 May 2013

I was MAHLI uplink lead today, planning 3 sols to get us through the weekend. It was a busy day--lots of MAHLI images were planned, both before and after drilling the Cumberland target. A SAM measurement of the atmosphere and SAM "preconditioning" in anticipation of the second drill sample… Read More

Sol 276 Update On Curiosity From USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: Roving Records

16 May 2013

Because the critical data from yesterday's plan won't be received until around noon Pacific time, MSL tactical planning starts later than usual today. Even though the MSL project made the transition to "Earth time" planning months ago, the schedule is still allowed to shift a few hours when… Read More

Sol 275 Update On Curiosity From USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: On the Cumberland Trail

15 May 2013

It's good to see that the activities we planned over the weekend went well--the rover is now in position to drill the target "Cumberland." I'm MAHLI payload uplink lead for Sol 275, and helped plan MAHLI images of the potential drill target. These images are intended to confirm that the target is… Read More