Astrogeology Science Center

Sol 984: Slippery sand

13 May 2015

 by Ken HerkenhoffThe MSL tactical team took a day off yesterday to allow Earth and Mars time to synch up; planning is no longer restricted and we will be working every day the rest of this week (including Saturday).  Despite efforts to avoid sandy areas, the Sol 983 drive stopped… Read More

Sol 983: More sand traps

11 May 2015

 by Ken Herkenhoff The Sol 981 drive got the rover around the troublesome ripples and to the desired location, which gave us a good view of the terrain ahead.  Unfortunately, the images taken from the new location show more sandy ripples between the rover and the sharp transition… Read More

Sols 980-982: Dodging Sand, Updating ChemCam

8 May 2015

by Ryan Anderson The Sol 978 drive stopped after going only a couple meters instead of the expected ~19 meters because Curiosity detected that its wheels were slipping in the sand. The rover periodically takes pictures of its surroundings while driving to make sure that it is actually moving… Read More

Sol 978-979: Jocko Chute

6 May 2015

by Ryan AndersonThe sol 976 drive was successful and we are close to “Jocko Chute” (our informal name for the saddle point west of Jocko Butte). In the sol 978 plan, we have a ChemCam LIBS observation of a patch of exposed bedrock called “Big Salmon”, followed by lots of… Read More

Sols 976-977: Onward to Jocko Butte

4 May 2015

by Ryan AndersonWith our weekend contact science done, it’s time to hit the road again. The sol 976 plan includes some final Mastcam mosaics of the interesting outcrops that we have been studying, plus a Mastcam multispectral observation of the target “Albert” that ChemCam zapped… Read More

Sol 973-975: Albert, Bigfork, and Charity

1 May 2015

 by Ken Herkenhoff MSL is in a good position for contact science observations on an interesting outcrop of sedimentary rock, so the rover will be busy this weekend!  We had to change the timing of the arm activities a bit to optimize the illumination of MAHLI targets, so it was a… Read More

Sol 971-972: Approaching outcrop

29 April 2015

 by Ken Herkenhoff This morning the MSL science team used all of the available data to decide whether to approach one of the nearby outcrops or drive away.  Ultimately we decided to approach the closer of the large outcrops in front of the rover to set up for contact science this… Read More

Sol 969-970: Studying Mt. Shields

27 April 2015

by Ryan AndersonOur drive on sol 967 covered almost 90 meters, putting us in front of some interesting stratigraphy at "Mt. Shields", an outcrop along our drive down "Logan's Run". In the sol 969-970 plan, we have lots of Mastcam and ChemCam studying the outcrop. On sol 969, Mastcam has a 24x2… Read More

Sol 966-968: More Driving

24 April 2015

 by Ken Herkenhoff The rover drove 32 meters on Sol 964, to a position that gave us a good view of the terrain ahead and outcrops of interest.  So a longer (~90 m) drive is planned for Sol 967 after ChemCam and Mastcam observe nearby targets dubbed "Pablo" and "Pauline" on Sol… Read More

Sols 964-965: Logan’s Run? Or just a short dash…

22 April 2015

By Lauren EdgarAlthough we had planned a drive of up to 48 m towards “Logan’s Run” on Sol 963, the drive ended early after only 17 m due to the detection of a nearby hazard (a large rock).   This was the first time in a while that we were using autonav for driving. … Read More