Astrogeology Science Center

Sols 903-904: A Bumping Day on Mars

18 February 2015

 Curiosity is in search of the next drill target, and the main activity in today’s plan is to “bump” closer to a rock outcrop for contact science.  Curiosity will perform a short drive, which will set us up to use the instruments on the rover’s arm to assess… Read More

Sols 899-902: Long weekend, long plan!

13 February 2015

Today we planned 4 sols to take the rover through President’s day weekend. We humans get a long weekend, but the rover has a lot of work to do! We were supposed to drive about 45 meters in the previous plan, but the data received this morning showed that the rover stopped after only 17… Read More

Sols 896-898: In search of the next drill target

11 February 2015

After completing our drilling activities at the Pink Cliffs outcrop, Curiosity is ready to move on to the next location.  But where to drill?  We’re searching for something that is chemically very different from the last drill target (Mojave2).  After much discussion, we… Read More

Sols 894-895: “You do have the coolest job in the world”

9 February 2015

The planning day kicked off to a great start, with the SOWG Chair (Aileen Yingst) reminding us that we do have the coolest job in the world.  I’m the Geology Theme Lead today, and it certainly feels like an exciting job.  In this plan we’ve managed to use almost every… Read More

Sols 891-893: Sample Transfer to SAM

6 February 2015

The three sol plan will keep Curiosity very busy this weekend.  The main activities in this plan include dropping off part of the Mojave2 drill sample to the SAM instrument, and some remote sensing activities with Mastcam, ChemCam and Navcam.  The samples that we’re dropping off to… Read More

Sol 890: CheMin Analysis

5 February 2015

MSL's batteries are almost fully charged, so the Sol 890 plan includes another CheMin measurement of the "Mojave2" drill sample.  CheMin and SAM require more power than the other instruments, but we want to better understand the mineral composition of the drill sample before we dump the… Read More

Sol 889: Vein target

4 February 2015

The Sol 888 data show that the rover's batteries are recharging, and we received more data than expected.  So Sol 889 planning is less constrained by power, and we were able to include ChemCam and Mastcam observations of the dump pile (center of this image).  In the afternoon,… Read More

Sol 888: Sample dump pile

3 February 2015

The Sol 887 data received this morning show that a sample portion was successfully delivered to SAM, and the un-sieved part of the sample was dumped onto the ground as planned (the pile is just above center in this image).  Sol 888 activities are limited by the need to recharge the… Read More

Sol 887: Sample Analysis

2 February 2015

I'm SOWG Chair today, so I called in to enough of the operations planning teleconferences on Saturday to ensure that I was familiar with the goals for Sol 887.  Most people don't like working on weekends, but I definitely felt that it was worthwhile to do as much as possible while MSL is… Read More

Sol 884: Sample Transfer to CheMin

30 January 2015

After successfully drilling the target “Mojave2” on Sol 882, the next step is to deliver the sample to CheMin for analysis.   We acquired some great Mastcam and MAHLI images of the drill hole and mini drill hole, and we’re looking forward to learning more about… Read More