Astrogeology Science Center

Update On HI-SEAS From USGS Scientist Oleg Abramov: Geological Exploration

6 May 2013

One of the many hats I wear on this mission is that of the Crew Geologist. My other roles include Health & Safety Officer, Information and Communications Technology Officer, EVA Planner, and Thermographer. That will probably be typical on future planetary exploration missions: due to the small… Read More

Update On Curiosity From USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: Planning Resumes

1 May 2013

Both Mars rovers survived conjunction, when they could not be reliably commanded for most of April. Opportunity had some computer issues, but is now back under sequence control and a short drive was planned today. MSL (Curiosity) is healthy and the first post-conjunction tactical planning is today.… Read More

Update On Curiosity From USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: A Bit of Data

25 April 2013

For most of April, while Mars is behind the Sun as seen from Earth, no commands are being sent to MSL. Before the start of the solar conjunction stand-down, the rover was programmed to acquire radiation and weather data every day. The Sun interferes with radio waves that pass close to it, but we… Read More

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