Astrogeology Science Center

Sols 1143-1145: Last observations at Greenhorn and driving away

23 October 2015

After a successful investigation focused on alteration zones around fractures, it’s time to move on.  We’re still chewing on data from the “Greenhorn” and “Big Sky” drill samples, but we can wrap up a few last observations in this area and drive away in… Read More

Sol 1142: Nighttime imaging

22 October 2015

The Sol 1141 activities completed as expected, and the rover's batteries are charged up enough to allow both daytime and nighttime activities in today's plan.  First, the unsieved part of the Greenhorn drill sample will be dumped onto the ground and Mastcam and MAHLI will take pictures… Read More

Sol 1141: Recharging batteries

21 October 2015

There was a problem processing the latest data from MSL at the Deep Space Network station that received it, but the data are now available and confirm that the Sol 1140 activities completed successfully.  As expected, the batteries need to be recharged after the SAM methane experiment,… Read More

Sol 1140: Zapping the drill hole wall

20 October 2015

The ChemCam RMI images of the drill hole planned yesterday were successfully acquired and received, and were used today to plan 2 parallel LIBS rasters down the hole.  The additional LIBS raster should be useful in measuring variations in chemistry among individual sand grains and in… Read More

Sol 1139: Another successful drill hole on Mars

19 October 2015

 Over the weekend Curiosity drilled another hole on Mars at the “Greenhorn” target.  Everything went smoothly and we have another beautiful sample to analyze! Today’s plan is focused on transferring the sample to CheMin, followed by CheMin analysis of the drill sample.… Read More

Sols 1136-1138: Drilling at “Greenhorn”

16 October 2015

  Unfortunately the Sol 1135 bundles were not uplinked due to a DSN issue, so the activities that we planned yesterday never made it onboard.  However, that meant that Curiosity spent the day resting and recharging in time for a lot of great science this weekend. Today’s 3-sol… Read More

Sol 1135: Sniffing the Martian air

15 October 2015

The Sol 1134 mini-start hole on “Pilgrim” went well, as seen in the above MAHLI image.  Side note: if that doesn’t look like a hole to you, try rotating the image (the hole is illuminated from the lower left, but the human eye generally prefers to see sunlight coming… Read More

Sol 1134: Mini-start hole at “Pilgrim”

14 October 2015

Curiosity is currently investigating an alteration zone around a fracture, and the plan today is focused on what we call a “mini-start hole.”  Before we do a full drill hole, we do a small test hole to make sure its safe.  The target “Pilgrim” was selected for… Read More

Sol 1133: Dump and “Thwack”

13 October 2015

Sol 1133 activities are dominated by dumping the “Big Sky” sample and “thwacking” CHIMRA (the Collection and Handling for in-Situ Martian Rock Analysis) to clean out any remnants of the sample.  We have to do this in preparation for the next drill sample, which will… Read More

Sol 1132: Dumping Big Sky sample

12 October 2015

Columbus Day is a federal holiday, but I'm scheduled as SOWG Chair tomorrow so I'm following Sol 1132 tactical planning and discussions of our goals for Sol 1133.  The SAM analysis of the Big Sky drill sample went well and there is no need for another analysis, so the rest of the sample… Read More