Astrogeology Science Center

Sols 871-872: A Software Upgrade is Available. Install Now?

16 January 2015

Today’s plan for sols 871 and 872 is our last chance to get some science done before we begin a week of no activity while the engineering team upgrades the rover software. The plan is to do two ChemCam “rasters” on targets “Funk Valley” and “Rainbow Basin”.… Read More

Sol 870 Update: Keeping MAHLI Safe

15 January 2015

This morning the MSL operations team realized that the results of the MAHLI activities planned for Sol 870 will not be received until Saturday.  Therefore, if there is a problem on Sol 870 that halts the sequence while the MAHLI dust cover is open, the cover would remain open through the… Read More

Sols 869-870: Broken rock

14 January 2015

The "mini-drill" test on the Mojave rock target completed successfully, but MAHLI images taken after the test showed that the rotary-percussive drilling fractured the rock.  This was not expected, so the tactical team had to quickly change the Sol 869-870 plan.  While we were… Read More

Sols 867-868: Mini-Drill at Mojave

12 January 2015

 Over the weekend, Curiosity did a short drive to get into position to drill at “Mojave.”  The previously acquired MAHLI images of this target show some really interesting crystals, and we’re excited to use CheMin to figure out what minerals are present.The main event in… Read More

Sols 864-866: Hello Again, Pink Cliffs!

9 January 2015

The drive toward “Pink Cliffs” went according to plan, so in the Sol 864 plan we will be doing a very short drive (called a “bump”) toward our drilling target: “Mojave” (shown above). Before the drive, ChemCam will analyze 5 locations in a line across a possible… Read More

Sols 862-863: Goodbye Whale Rock!

7 January 2015

It’s time to hit the road again! In the Sol 862-863 plan, we are wrapping things up at “Whale Rock” and then driving about 85 m toward “Pink Cliffs”, where we hope to drill sometime soon. On Sol 862, Mastcam will take a few parting shots of Whale Rock and… Read More

Sols 860-861: Happy New (Earth) Year!

5 January 2015

Happy New (Earth) Year!   After the long holiday plans, the Curiosity team is back to planning two days at a time. The main priority for the sol 860 plan is to use MAHLI to take close-up color images of the targets “Sierra Nevada”, “Santa Ana,” and… Read More

Sols 853-859: Christmas on Mars

29 December 2014

On December 19th, the MSL tactical team planned 10 sols (!) on Mars, so that everyone could take a nice break over the holidays.  That means that today we are assessing all of those sols of data, and checking out all of the “presents” that Curiosity acquired for us!   At the… Read More

Sol 843-852: Brushing

19 December 2014

The Sol 842 command sequences were successfully received by Curiosity, and all the data needed for planning were returned to Earth, including MAHLI images of the right front wheel. These and other data were thoroughly analyzed, and the slip risk assessment team concluded that it is safe to… Read More

Sol 842: Trying again...

18 December 2014

Unfortunately, the Sol 841 command sequences could not be sent to MSL because of a transmitter problem at the Deep Space Network (DSN) antenna.  This reminded me not to take for granted communications between Earth and Mars, even though such problems are rare.  Bad weather over a DSN… Read More