MSL launched from Florida two years ago today--I was pretty nervous that day, but the mission has obviously gone extremely well! Planning is restricted this week (results of the drive planned for Sol 465 will not arrive until tonight), so we are planning 3 sols of untargeted remote sensing to get… Read More
I'm SOWG Chair again today, planning Sol 465, which includes the first drive since the electrical issue over a week ago. The change in power bus voltage appears to have been caused by an electrical short in the Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator (RTG), the nuclear power source for the rover. … Read More
MSL science planning has resumed! Today we are planning 3 sols, with the focus on dropping more of the drill sample into 4 of SAM's cups, for future analysis. While the arm is out, we'll take MAHLI images of the rover wheels and a Mastcam image of the sample seive, for engineering assessment. … Read More
The IAU Working Group for Planetary System Nomenclature has approved the name Ophir Mensa for a feature on Mars. For more information, see the map of MC-18 in the Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature.
There will be no MSL science planning again today, as analysis of the recent electrical issue continues. We are hope to return to normal science operations on Friday, planning 3 sols for the weekend.
I was scheduled as MAHLI/MARDI uplink lead today, but there was nothing to do because all science planning is on hold while the power issue is being investigated. Because planning is restricted this week, diagnostic data acquired today will not be available in time for planning tomorrow. If the… Read More
The plan for last weekend included driving on 2 sols. Unfortunately, the first drive, on Sol 455, was aborted due to a wheel stall. There was also an electrical problem, so the Sol 458 plan will be devoted to getting the engineering data needed to recover from this problem. The rover is in a… Read More
I was SOWG Chair again planning Sol 452, which was disappointing because it was basically a repeat of Sol 451. When the Sol 451 plan was run on the testbed, a potential problem was discovered and the decision was made at the last minute not to send it to the rover. The problem, which may have… Read More
I'm SOWG Chair today, but focused on tomorrow's plan because Sol 451 is dedicated to recovering from last week's software anomaly. So far, the recovery is going well and we are planning to resume normal science operations on Sol 452. We have received lots of data acquired during the Cooperstown… Read More
The IAU Working Group for Planetary System Nomenclature has approved new names for three craters on Mars: Betio, Byala, and Halba. For more information, see the Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature.