Astrogeology Science Center

Sol 717 Update on Curiosity from USGS Scientist Ryan Anderson: Vantage Point

11 August 2014

The sol 714 drive was successful and the rover traveled 37.5 meters to the vantage point we were aiming for. For the Sol 717 plan, we’re planning to drive the rover back to the entrance of Hidden Valley to investigate possible drilling locations. Before the drive there will also be a… Read More

Sol 714 Update on Curiosity from USGS Scientist Ryan Anderson: On Solid Ground

10 August 2014

The Sol 713 drive got us out of the sand and onto solid (albeit rocky) ground! For Sol 714, the plan is to drive the rest of the way out of Hidden Valley to a slight high point in the terrain so that we can take pictures for route planning. Before the drive on sol 714, there is a ChemCam blind… Read More

Sol 713 Update on Curiosity from USGS Scientist Ryan Anderson: High Road or Low Road?

8 August 2014

The plan for Sol 713 is to do some brief ChemCam and Mastcam observations of a target called Thorndike, and then drive. The goal of the drive is to move the rover a short distance back in the direction we came from to get out of the sand that has been causing driving difficulties recently. Once… Read More

Sol 712 Update On Curiosity From MSL Scientist Lauren Edgar: Rover-Sand Interaction

6 August 2014

Curiosity is still at the northern end of Hidden Valley, and the rover planners are trying to decide on the best approach for upcoming drives. The plan today consists of Mastcam observations to characterize the local geology, as well as some extra images to understand rover-sand interactions. … Read More

Sol 711 Update on Curiosity from MSL Scientist Lauren Edgar: Slippage

5 August 2014

Curiosity is still at the northern end of Hidden Valley. The past few drives have experienced some slip, so we are collecting data to investigate how the wheels are interacting with sand, and considering a number of drive strategies. This Navcam image from Sol 710 shows some of the progress we… Read More

Sol 710 Update On Curiosity From USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: Deep Tracks

4 August 2014

The Sol 709 drive was not as long as planned because the minimum 2 meters of progress out of 4.5 meters commanded was not achieved. This software check may be disabled for future drives across sandy material, to allow more slippage before the rover stops driving. The Sol 710 plan includes… Read More

Sol 707 Update On Curiosity From MSL Scientist Lauren Edgar: Entering the Valley

1 August 2014

Curiosity has just entered Hidden Valley! For a view into the valley and information about our plans for exploring the geology, check out the recent press release. Today’s 3-sol plan is a busy one, including ChemCam observations on a disturbed soil target in a wheel track (Saline Valley),… Read More

Sol 706 Update on Curiosity from MSL Scientist Lauren Edgar: Scenic Route

31 July 2014

Today we planned contact science (APXS and MAHLI) on a rock target named Thimble, and an extra MAHLI image of an adjacent rock named Poleta. These observations will give us good chemical and textural information for the rocks that we’ve been driving across. We also planned a ~30 m drive… Read More

Sol 705 Update On Curiosity From MSL Scientist Lauren Edgar: Hidden Valley

30 July 2014

Today we are planning Sol 705, and Curiosity is just about to drive down from the Zabriskie Plateau into Hidden Valley, where the terrain should be much easier to traverse. The Sol 705 plan includes a bump towards targets named Resting Spring and Thimble, to prepare for contact science tomorrow. … Read More

Sol 704 Update On Curiosity From USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: Off-Planet Driving Record

29 July 2014

I should have mentioned yesterday that the Opportunity rover recently broke the off-planet driving record that was previously held by the 1973 Lunokhod 2 lunar rover. It will be a long time before the 40-km record is broken, even at the rate MSL is moving. But Curiosity made almost 30 meters of… Read More