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Astrogeology Science Center

USGS Scientist Chris Edwards, Solving the Mysteries of Mars’ Atmosphere

3 September 2015

USGS scientist, Chris Edwards, is working to solve the mystery of the disappearance of the Martian atmosphere. From the USGS press release: The modern Martian atmosphere is too thin for liquid water to persist on the surface. A denser atmosphere on ancient Mars could have kept water from… Read More

Sol 1093: Leaving the Williams area

2 September 2015

After successful contact science on the Stimson unit in the Williams area, it’s time to get back on the road.  In today’s plan we’ll finish up a few activities at the Williams area, and then continue on our drive towards Bridger Basin and eventually the Bagnold… Read More

Sol 1092: Stimson Contact Science

1 September 2015

Curiosity is currently investigating an outcrop of the Stimson unit.  On Sol 1091, Curiosity acquired some low-resolution MAHLI images of the targets “Pentagon,” “Lebo,” “Ivanhoe,” and “Ledger” in order to plan more detailed imaging of those… Read More

Sol 1091: Lots of MAHLI targets

31 August 2015

Planning is no longer restricted, but we had to start at 6:00 PDT this morning to give the operations team enough time to uplink commands by the time the rover expects them.  Driving to work before sunrise reminded me of the sometimes odd times we had to wake up during the first 90 sols… Read More

Sols 1089-1090: Stimson is Stunning

28 August 2015

Curiosity is currently making her way through some beautiful exposures of the Stimson unit.  The 6 m drive on Sol 1087 went well, and Curiosity is in a good position for possible contact science early next week. Today we’re planning 2-sols for the weekend (Sunday is a… Read More

Sols 1087-1088: Bright features

26 August 2015

The complex, nearly 39-meter Sol 1085 drive completed successfully, leaving the rover in another target-rich area.  Again, I helped pick targets for ChemCam observations--our favorites were on the brighter parts of the outcrop just south of the rover.  The targets for ChemCam… Read More

Sols 1085-1086: Rough road ahead

24 August 2015

MSL had a good weekend, and returned lots of data including nice MAHLI images of Ravalli.  The nearly 22-meter Sol 1083 drive completed as planned, and placed the rover near some nice rock outcrops.  I helped the planning team select targets for ChemCam observations; we settled on… Read More

Sols 1082-1084: Nice view

21 August 2015

I'm having another very busy day as SOWG Chair, as we are planning lots of activities to keep the rover busy this weekend.  The vehicle is on a local high spot that gives us a spectacular view of the terrain ahead.  But there aren't many targets in front of the rover that are… Read More

Sols 1080-1081: Official New Selfie!

19 August 2015

We had another successful drive on 1079, going about 29 meters this time. The plan for sols 1080-1081 is pretty similar to the previous plan: remote sensing and a drive on the first day, and untargeted science on the second day. On sol 1080, ChemCam has observations of the targets “Red… Read More

Sols 1078-1079: Back to restricted planning

17 August 2015

I had an easy planning day as MAHLI/MARDI uplink lead today, because another drive is planned for Sol 1078 with only the usual post-drive MAHLI (stowed) and MARDI (twilight) imaging.  Planning is restricted again (Mars and Earth time are out of sync), so we are planning two sols. … Read More