Astrogeology Science Center

Sol 112 Update on Curiosity from USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: Yellowknife Bay

27 November 2012

We've received much of the data acquired during the Thanksgiving holiday, including the Mastcam panorama of Yellowknife Bay, the near-term drive goal. These images will be used to pick specific targets for drilling. Meanwhile, a short "bump" of about 1 meter was planned on Sol 112, to allow arm… Read More

Sol 104-107 Update on Curiosity from USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: To Bump Or Not To Bump

22 November 2012

The "touch and go" planned for Sol 102 went well, the data arriving in time for planning Sol 104. There was a lot of discussion of whether to "bump" the rover a few meters farther to improve the view toward Yellowknife Bay, our near-term drive objective. Ultimately we decided to stay put, which… Read More

Sol 103 Update on Curiosity from USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: Restricted

18 November 2012

Overall, my first shift as SOWG Chair since the transition to remote operations went well. The better tool for sharing video on the web was not working again today, so we had to resort to the backup tool, which again was slower and frustrating at times. But we couldn't plan much science anyway… Read More

Sol 102 Update on Curiosity from USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: Driving Again

17 November 2012

I'm back on tactical operations tomorrow as SOWG Chair, so I'm following along with Sol 102 planning to get up to speed after being away at the ChemCam team meeting. The rover drove to a nearby rock target yesterday, and the plan is to drive 35 meters on Sol 102 after placing the APXS on the… Read More

Sol 99 Update on Curiosity from USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: ChemCam Team Meeting

15 November 2012

The ChemCam science team meeting went well, but we have a lot of work to do. Of course everyone knew this before the meeting, and now we are more focused on the most important tasks. We have a lot of excellent data, and the most important near-term goal is to broaden the range of rocks and… Read More

Sol 97 Update on Curiosity from USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: Meeting at APL

14 November 2012

I'm at the Applied Physics Laboratory in Maryland for a ChemCam science team meeting this week. The location was chosen, in part, to make traveling easier overall--it's between France and JPL. Some of the team members are supporting MSL tactical operations so that the rest of us can focus on the… Read More

Sol 96 Update on Curiosity from USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: Arm Complexity

13 November 2012

The plan for Sol 96 was dominated by continued arm activities, with little room for "opportunistic science." So my last shift as SUR (this week) was fairly easy. The plan included dropping another soil sample into the SAM instrument, with Mastcam and MAHLI support imaging. As we stepped through… Read More

Sol 95 Update on Curiosity from USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: Preconditioning

11 November 2012

There was applause in the MSL SOWG meeting room and on the phone lines as the first SAM results on solid Martian material were announced. The instrument appears to be working well, and the team is busy analyzing the new data. The plan for Sol 95 therefore included another SAM "preconditioning"… Read More

Sol 94 Update on Curiosity from USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: Driving in Flagstaff

10 November 2012

The fifth scoop of Martian soil was successful, and Sol 94 planning was focussed on processing the sample and delivering it to CheMin. The X-ray diffraction instrument will then analyze the sample overnight. There was enough power and time left for a couple Mastcam mosaics in the afternoon. I… Read More

Sol 91 Update on Curiosity from USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: Dry Run

6 November 2012

I made it home to Flagstaff last night despite being detoured by a fire that closed I-15 near Cajon Pass. I verified that the web tools and phone access to the MSL tactical planning meetings worked well, and followed the SOWG meeting planning Sol 91. The tools are similar to those we have been… Read More