Astrogeology Science Center

Sol 82 update on Curiosity from USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: CHIMRA Cleaning

28 October 2012

MSL operations have gone well while I was in the Bay Area: the team applauded the successful completion of CHIMRA cleaning today. As a bonus, almost 1 gigabit of data were received on Sol 81! I was MAHLI payload uplink lead for Sol 82 planning, and had to scramble to get up to speed after being… Read More

Sol 75 update on Curiosity from USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: Week Off

23 October 2012

I'm not at JPL for the rest of the week, but was glad to see that the ChemCam shot at the soil near MSL went as planned on Sol 74. Since then, more observations of the ChemCam calibration targets have been successfully acquired, which is good news because the calibration is long overdue. Also, a… Read More

Sol 74 update on Curiosity from USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: Squeezing More In

21 October 2012

As the MSL operations team gets more experience, we are getting more aggressive. In addition to the long-planned arm activities (4th scoop of soil), we added MAHLI images of the far side of the ripple we are scooping, Mastcam mosaics, and ChemCam LIBS observations of a nearby patch of soil during… Read More

Sol 73 update on Curiosity from USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: CheMin Online

20 October 2012

The team applauded the first results from CheMin, which show that the instrument is working well, measuring abundances of minerals in the sandy first sample delivered to it. The CheMin scientists thanked the Surface Sampling Subsystem team for doing such a good job delivering the first sample,… Read More

Sol 72 update on Curiosity from USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: MRO is back

18 October 2012

MRO is back--we received over 400 Mbits of data through the orbiter yesterday! The amount of data relayed through MRO will decrease once the orbiter's instruments are operating again (they were turned on this morning), but in the meantime we're enjoying the flood of data. Among the new data were… Read More

Sol 71 update on Curiosity from USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: Observation Tray

17 October 2012

The third scoop of soil was successfully acquired, and partly processed by CHIMRA, dumping part of it on the observation tray. So MSL is back on track despite the unavailability of MRO data relay and other communications problems. MRO has exited safe mode and is expected to resume relaying MSL… Read More

Sol 69 update on Curiosity from USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: Pushing Data

15 October 2012

The command sequences prepared for Sol 68 were not received by MSL due to a problem with a radio transmitter at a Deep Space Network ground station. But enough data were received from earlier sols that we were confident that we could resume scooping on a new site, where contamination was not seen… Read More

Sol 68 update on Curiosity from USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: Schmutz!

14 October 2012

The MAHLI image of the "schmutz" in the 2nd scoop trench (at lower left in photo) shows that it is brighter than anything else in the image, but it's still not clear what it is. In case it is debris from MSL, a nearby area of the same sandy ripple will be imaged by MAHLI to determine whether… Read More

Sol 67 update on Curiosity from USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: Getting the Scoop

13 October 2012

Less than half of the ChemCam data acquired on Sol 66 have been received so far, but it looks like the activities we planned before the decontamination heating went well. So we requested another titanium calibration target observation in Sol 67, and the theme groups requested a new 3x3 LIBS… Read More

Sol 66 update on Curiosity from USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: Decontamination Time

12 October 2012

The Sol 66 plan includes the second scooping activity on the same sandy ripple, again intended to be used to flush out the CHIMRA system, removing any remaining terrestrial contamination. This won't take the entire sol, and there were a couple blocks of time available for science observations. … Read More