Astrogeology Science Center

Sol 324 Update On Curiosity From USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: Finishing Up at Shaler

3 July 2013

We decided to spend a bit more time investigating the "Shaler" outcrop using the arm instruments and ChemCam before starting the long drive to Aeolis Mons or "Mt. Sharp." The Sol 322 data we have received so far look good, and I was glad to see that the MAHLI calibration data I had requested were… Read More

Sol 322 Update On Curiosity From USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: Contacting Shaler

1 July 2013

"Contact science," including APXS and MAHLI close-up observations of a couple of rocks at the "Shaler" outcrop, are being planned for Sols 322 and 323. There are still some concerns about the stability of the rover, so some of these observations may be delayed to Sol 323 to allow more time to… Read More

Sol 311 Update On Curiosity From USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: The Approach

25 June 2013

MSL continues to study the "Shaler" outcrop, slowed a bit by minor driving problems. Last week, the tilt of the rover exceeded the 12-degree limit during a drive toward the center of the outcrop, so the drive had to be commanded again. That drive was successful except that it ended with the left… Read More

Update on HI-SEAS from USGS Scientist Oleg Abramov: Lava Tubes

20 June 2013

We discovered a lot of lava tube skylights of all shapes and sizes near our habitat, and were actually able to enter one of them on a recent EVA. I thought I’d give a summary of that EVA here, along with lots of photos we took along the way. . . Read more on the HI-SEAS website. . .

Sol 308 Update On Curiosity From USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: Shaler

19 June 2013

The rover is approaching the last stop before hitting the road, an outcrop dubbed Shaler. We noticed the Shaler outcrop on our way into "Yellowknife Bay" but did not get close enough to study it in detail. So we plan study Shaler in detail before starting the traverse toward Mt. Sharp (Aeolis… Read More

Sol 303 Update On Curiosity From USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: Nine Degree Tilt

12 June 2013

The approach to Point Lake on Sol 302 went well, allowing the arm to reach the outcrop of interest. However, the rover is tilted over 9 degrees, so we have to wait a sol to confirm that it is stable before planning contact science. Therefore, we could place MAHLI no closer than 10 cm from the… Read More

Sol 302 Update On Curiosity From USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: Point Lake Outcrop

11 June 2013

I'm SOWG Chair again today, planning Sol 302. The Sol 301 drive went well, and we received images after the drive was complete showing the Point Lake outcrop. Unfortunately, they showed that the slopes near the most interesting part of the outcrop are large enough that we would have to spend an… Read More

Sol 301 Update On Curiosity From USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: Recovery Sequence

10 June 2013

The MSL activities planned for last weekend went well, except for a ChemCam instrument problem on Sol 300. Fortunately, it's not serious and the Sol 301 plan includes ChemCam recovery sequences. If they go well we will be able to use ChemCam again on Sol 302. The Sol 301 plan includes another… Read More

Sol 291 Update On Curiosity From USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: The Drill Hole Walls

31 May 2013

I'm not on shift in any tactical operations roles, but have been helping finish up important observations in the "Cumberland" area before we drive away next week. In particular, I have been leading the effort to take MAHLI images of the drill hole walls at night, using the LEDs to illuminate the… Read More

Sol 289 Update On Curiosity From USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: Heating Up

29 May 2013

Yesterday I was Geology/Mineralogy Science Theme Lead for the first time in months, so I was a bit rusty. We tried to fit some MAHLI imaging into the plan, along with overnight CheMin analysis of the Cumberland drill sample, but didn't have enough power. However, we were able to plan a… Read More