Astrogeology Science Center

Sol 373: Update On Curiosity From USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: AutoNav

23 August 2013

The autonomous navigation checkout, part of the Sol 372 drive, went perfectly! So "AutoNav" can be used for up to 90 minutes next time. If the software continues to work well, it will be used to drive into areas that cannot be seen from the rover (over hills, for example). The weekend plan… Read More

Sol 372: Update On Curiosity From USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: Record Drive!

22 August 2013

The Sol 371 drive set a new MSL distance record for a single sol, 110 meters. The Sol 372 drive will be shorter, but includes the first test of autonomous navigation ("AutoNav") on the "B" computer. After the Sol 200 anomaly, when the rover swapped to the B computer, problems with the terrain… Read More

Sol 371: Update On Curiosity From USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: Squeezing in Observations

21 August 2013

The Sol 370 drive went well, and the rover stopped near an interesting outcrop. So we're planning as many observations as we can squeeze in before the next drive. Because we can see farther ahead of us than usual, the rover planners are planning to drive 100 meters or more. To allow this longer… Read More

Sol 369: Update On Curiosity From USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: Revving Up

20 August 2013

After taking a week off from MSL tactical planning, I was back on shift as MAHLI/MARDI uplink lead yesterday, planning Sol 369. We are no longer restricted by the offset between Earth and Mars time, so we can plan drives every sol this week. After each drive, we continue to take MAHLI and MARDI… Read More

Update on HI-SEAS from USGS Scientist Oleg Abramov: Wrapping Up

11 August 2013

It’s hard to believe, but this experience is almost over. This was really driven home today, as some of the crewmembers started packing their personal belongings. All we have left is one weekend, which will be filled with wrapping up personal research activities, and Monday, which will… Read More

Sol 360: Update On Curiosity From USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: Touch and Go

9 August 2013

My SOWG Chair shift today was especially busy, as we planned MSL's first "touch and go. The plan is to deploy the arm on Sol 360 for MAHLI and APXS observations of a rock right in front of the rover, then the arm will be stowed for another drive on Sol 361. We are also planning to observe a… Read More

Sol 359: Update On Curiosity From USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: Simple Plan

8 August 2013

The Sol 356 drive went well, so another drive was planned for Sol 358. We are still "restricted," as the post-drive data will not arrive until 10 PM PDT tonight. So the Sol 359 plan includes only untargeted observations. The plan is therefore pretty simple, which is making for an easy SOWG Chair… Read More

USGS Map Experts Kris and Tammy Becker Highlighted by the Mercury MESSENGER Mission

8 August 2013

The MESSENGER mission featured two USGS Astrogeology Science Center map experts; computer scientist, Kris Becker and cartographer, Tammy Becker; on their mission web site. The profile includes background information and highlights of the Becker's accomplishments while working as team members on… Read More

Sol 356: Update On Curiosity From USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: First Earth Year!

6 August 2013

The MSL team is celebrating the first Earth year of operations on the surface of Mars, at JPL, on NASA TV, and at participating institutions around the world. In addition, the New York Times launched their Curiosity Tracker, which makes it easy to review previous results of the mission and keep… Read More

Sol 355: Update On Curiosity From USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: Ripple

5 August 2013

MSL landed on Mars one Earth year ago tonight, so there were cheers and applause during the SOWG meeting today. There are some nice products on the MSL web page celebrating the first of (hopefully) many anniversaries to come. Today the tactical operations team is planning targeted remote sensing… Read More