Astrogeology Science Center

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

Sol 841: ChemCam Recovery

17 December 2014

I was happy to see that the Sol 840 MAHLI images we planned on Monday came out nicely.  There was no MSL tactical planning yesterday, because of the offset between Mars time and Pacific time, and planning started at 6 AM PST today.  We were hoping to be able to brush off one of the… Read More

Sol 840: High Tilt

15 December 2014

The 5-meter drive planned for Sol 837 placed the rover near dubbed "Whale Rock" as intended. Front Hazcam images show blocks that appear to have fallen from the outcrop and in-place bedrock patches; both can be reached by the arm instruments, so the Sol 840 plan includes MAHLI images from 25… Read More

Sols 835-836: Driving to Whale Rock

10 December 2014

 After a successful investigation of the Chinle outcrop, Curiosity is ready to move on to the Whale Rock outcrop.  Today we are planning two sols, and on the first sol we’ll finish up a few last targeted observations at Chinle.  The plan includes a ChemCam passive observation… Read More