Astrogeology Science Center

Update on HI-SEAS from USGS Scientist Oleg Abramov: First Week on Mars

22 April 2013

It’s impossible to fully appreciate something at the moment it’s happening. That’s particularly true for an experience like this. Since we arrived at the HI-SEAS hab, every day has been a whirlwind of activity. For myself, this included setting up and troubleshooting computers and… Read More

USGS Scientist Oleg Abramov Enters a New Habitat

18 April 2013

USGS Scientist Oleg Abramov officially entered the habitat and began his 120-day space simulation exercise known as HI-SEAS (Hawaii Space Exploration Analog and Simulation). His research will concentrate on thermal modelling and temperature control in a simulated space habitat. Keep posted on his… Read More

Sol 229 Update On Curiosity From USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: Superior Conjunction

1 April 2013

I'm not scheduled in any tactical operations roles this week, but have been calling into planning meetings for both MSL (Curiosity) and MER (Opportunity). The rovers and other Mars spacecraft are preparing for the upcoming "superior conjunction" of Mars, when the planet will pass behind the Sun as… Read More

Sol 227 Update On Curiosity From USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: Chem Data

28 March 2013

I was MAHLI/MARDI uplink lead again for Sol 227 planning, but again didn't have much to do (just moving images between camera and rover memory). The focus has been on SAM and CheMin analyses of the first drill sample, and they are getting some good data. The rover is operating well on the B… Read More

Sol 226 Update On Curiosity From USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: We're Back!

26 March 2013

At long last, the MSL team has resumed planning science observations! I was MAHLI/MARDI uplink lead on Monday, and although we didn't plan any activities with those cameras, it was good to be involved in tactical operations again. The engineering team is still working to fully understand the Sol… Read More

Sol 212 Update On Curiosity From USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: Nothing to Do

20 March 2013

I'm scheduled as MAHLI/MARDI uplink lead again today, but there's nothing for me to do because the engineers at JPL are still working to recover from recent software anomalies. The latest fault was not serious, but delayed the return to nominal science operations. The instruments have been… Read More

Sol 210 Update On Curiosity From USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: Clay Minerals

14 March 2013

I'm SOWG Chair again today, but because anomaly recovery continues we are not planning science activities. So I was able to watch the MSL press conference at NASA Headquarters this morning, during which the discovery of clay minerals and possible organic material in the first drill sample was… Read More

Sol 208 Update On Curiosity From USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: Stay Patient

11 March 2013

I'm scheduled to serve as SOWG Chair today and tomorrow, but we won't be able to plan any new science observations because the recovery from the Sol 200 anomaly is not yet complete. Unfortunately, it appears that we won't resume normal science planning until next week. But the science team… Read More

Sol 206 Update On Curiosity From USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: Sun Blasting Mars

6 March 2013

Rather than continue with recovery efforts, MSL will be shut down due to intense solar activity. A big "coronal mass ejection" is predicted to hit Mars on Sol 207, so the rover will be commanded to go to sleep to avoid problems like the Sol 200 anomaly. Space weather can by nasty!

Sol 205 Update On Curiosity From USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: Still Recovering

5 March 2013

The engineering and instrument teams are working to set up MSL's "B" computer with all the parameter settings needed to resume science operations. It looks like this process will take all week, so we have to be patient while they check everything out. At the same time, an anomaly response team… Read More