Astrogeology Science Center

Sol 741-743 Update on Curiosity from USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: Busy Weekend

5 September 2014

The weekend plan is very ambitious, with a bunch of targeted remote science observations on Sol 741, contact science on Sol 742, and a long drive on Sol 743.  It has been a busy day for me as SOWG Chair, partly because our favorite contact science target was too difficult to reach with the… Read More

Sol 740 Update On Curiosity From MSL Scientist Lauren Edgar: Approaching Amargosa Valley

4 September 2014

Curiosity is about to ingress into Amargosa Valley.  This Navcam image from Sol 739 shows some of the beautiful layered rocks that we have been driving over and analyzing recently.  The plan today includes ChemCam and Mastcam observations of the targets “Timber Mountain,”… Read More

Sol 739 Update On Curiosity From MSL Scientist Lauren Edgar: Rough Road Ahead

3 September 2014

Curiosity has almost reached an ingress point into Armargosa Valley.  To get into the valley, Curiosity will have to cross some fairly rough terrain, but this also provides an opportunity to analyze the bedrock as we go.  The plan today includes ChemCam and Mastcam observations of… Read More

Sol 738 Update On Curiosity From MSL Scientist Lauren Edgar: Pahrump Hills

2 September 2014

Curiosity is driving across a plateau towards an ingress point into “Armargosa Valley.” This image from Sol 735 shows our drive-direction: We are working our way towards the bright patch of rocks in the upper left portion of the image, known as the “Pahrump Hills.” … Read More

Sol 735 -737 Update On Curiosity From USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: Rapid Traverse Planning

31 August 2014

The volume of data sent from MSL to Earth has been less than usual over the past few days because the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) went into "safe mode," a software state that ensures ample solar power and telecommunications.  This has happened several times before on MRO, and… Read More

Sol 732-734 Update On Curiosity From USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: Multi-sol planning

28 August 2014

Yesterday we did not receive as much data as expected, so could not drive as originally planned.  Therefore, the Sol 732 plan was dominated by targeted ChemCam and Mastcam observations of "Lippincott," "Hall Canyon," and "Keeler Canyon."  Today we received all the data needed to plan… Read More

Sol 731 Update On Curiosity From MSL Scientist Lauren Edgar: Large Crater Ahead

25 August 2014

Curiosity is back to driving! We are taking the high road around Hidden Valley to avoid potentially deep ripple fields, and making our way towards a large crater. This image from Sol 729 shows the crater just ahead of us. The Sol 731 plan includes a drive to the rim of the crater and some… Read More

Sol 728 -730 Update On Curiosity From USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: Driving Again

22 August 2014

After much study and discussion, the MSL team decided not to attempt to drill again into the rocks in front of the rover. On Sol 728, ChemCam and Mastcam will observe several nearby targets and the observation tray on the rover. The Sol 729 plan is dominated by the drive, with a single set of… Read More

Sol 727 Update On Curiosity From USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: Stellar Observations

21 August 2014

While we wait for data acquired on Sol 726 to be received later tonight, the Sol 727 plan includes only remote sensing observations. Mastcam and ChemCam will observe both nearby and distant targets during the day, then will attempt to observe some stars after dusk. The goal of the star imaging… Read More

Sol 726 Update On Curiosity From USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: Busy Uplink

20 August 2014

We were hoping that the Sol 726 plan would include full drilling of the Bonanza King target, but the downlink from Sol 724 showed that the mini-drill activity did not complete successfully, probably because the rock moved during drilling. Planning is still restricted, so the Sol 725 plan had not… Read More