Astrogeology Science Center

Sol 397 Update On Curiosity From USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: Blind Observations

17 September 2013

MSL planning is restricted again this week, so Sol 397 was planned without knowing the position of the rover after the Sol 396 drive. Fortunately, there were a number of blind observations that could be scheduled this sol, including repeated Mastcam and Navcam observations of the ground left and… Read More

Sol 392-396 Update On Curiosity From USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: Waypoint 1

13 September 2013

The rover is in position to deploy the arm instruments on outcrops at Waypoint 1, so the weekend plan includes lots of APXS and MAHLI observations. So many contact and remote sensing observations were suggested that we didn't have time to include them all in the plan! A short drive, or "bump" to… Read More

Sol 388 Update On Curiosity From USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: New Record Drive

12 September 2013

I'm back from a week's vacation, catching up on everything that MSL has been doing. A new record for drive distance was set last week, 141 meters! Driving this far required lots of autonomous navigation, which left little time for science observations. Last weekend's plan included contact… Read More

Sol 382 Update On Curiosity From USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: Onward to the Mountain

4 September 2013

Autonomous navigation continues to work well, allowing longer drives into areas not visible from the previous rover location. Today the view ahead is good enough that we are planning to drive over 100 meters, with the last ~45 meters using AutoNav. But driving this far leaves very little time… Read More

Sol 380 Update On Curiosity From USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: Labor Day

31 August 2013

The Sol 379 drive went well, and the rover is in a safe configuration for arm deployment. So we are planning 3 sols today (to get the rover through the Labor Day holiday), including drop-off of sample to SAM and overnight analysis, followed by a drive on the last sol. We packed some more… Read More

Sol 379-380 Update On Curiosity From USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: Hectic Day

30 August 2013

Autonomous navigation continues to work well, and Curiosity completed another long drive on Sol 378. However, the left rear wheel ended up on a ~6 cm rock, which is larger than allowed for safe deployment of the arm. The concern that the wheel might slip off the rock while the arm is moving… Read More

Magmatic Water Found in Lunar Rocks

27 August 2013

Scientists, including USGS Astrogeology Team Member, Justin Hagerty, have detected magmatic water — water that originates from deep within the Moon's interior — on the surface of the Moon. These findings, published in the August 25 issue of Nature Geoscience, represent the first such… Read More

Sol 374 Update On Curiosity From USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: Going Over the Hill

26 August 2013

The Sol 374 drive, including the AutoNav portion, went very well, so an even longer drive is planned for Sol 376. For the first time AutoNav will be used to drive 10 meters over the hill, or beyond the area imaged in stereo by the Navcams after the Sol 374 drive. If the AutoNav software… Read More

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