Astrogeology Science Center

Sol 990: ChemCam Autofocus Software

19 May 2015

Testing of the new ChemCam automatic focusing software continues to go well--the instrument is returning well-focused data of the quality we got used to early in the mission.  The MAHLI test data acquired on Sol 989 are also looking good; here's an image of the penny in the… Read More

Sol 987-989: Back at Jocko Butte

18 May 2015

The backwards drive on sol 986 was successful, and over the weekend, Curiosity drove back toward “Jocko Butte”. Before the drive on sol 987, ChemCam had a 5x1 observation of the target “Mill”, accompanied by a Mastcam image. Mastcam also took a small 2x2 mosaic of our… Read More

Sol 986: Finding a Path

15 May 2015

We’ve been having trouble with the path we originally wanted to take through the sand toward the interesting geology at “Mt. Stimson”, so in today’s plan we are going to take a careful look around to identify better routes. Mastcam has a 13x3 mosaic in the direction we want… Read More

Sol 985: High Tilt

14 May 2015

Once again, excessive wheel slippage prevented MSL from driving as far as planned, so the tactical team decided to take a break from driving to allow various options to be studied in more detail.  The rover is tilted 21 degrees, the highest tilt of the mission so far, on the flank of a… Read More

Sol 984: Slippery sand

13 May 2015

 The MSL tactical team took a day off yesterday to allow Earth and Mars time to synch up; planning is no longer restricted and we will be working every day the rest of this week (including Saturday).  Despite efforts to avoid sandy areas, the Sol 983 drive stopped short when the… Read More

Sol 983: More sand traps

11 May 2015

The Sol 981 drive got the rover around the troublesome ripples and to the desired location, which gave us a good view of the terrain ahead.  Unfortunately, the images taken from the new location show more sandy ripples between the rover and the sharp transition between bright… Read More

Agenda for the 2nd Planetary Data Workshop

11 May 2015

The agenda and abstracts for the 2nd Planetary Data Workshop have been posted at LPI. The last day for early registration is this WEDNESDAY, May 13 2015. http://www.hou.usra.edu/meetings/planetdata2015/On the heals of the excellent ESA GIS Workshop, the 2nd Data Workshop is quickly shaping up to be… Read More

I C Ceres Celebration!

9 May 2015

After more than seven years cruising at stunning speeds, Dawn has arrived at the dwarf planet Ceres. As the Dawn mission begins its exploration, it's time to celebrate!Join us at the USGS Astrogeology Science Center, 2255 N. Gemini Dr., Building 3 Conference Room, Saturday, May 9, 2015, 12:00… Read More

Sols 980-982: Dodging Sand, Updating ChemCam

8 May 2015

The Sol 978 drive stopped after going only a couple meters instead of the expected ~19 meters because Curiosity detected that its wheels were slipping in the sand. The rover periodically takes pictures of its surroundings while driving to make sure that it is actually moving forward and its wheels… Read More

Sol 978-979: Jocko Chute

6 May 2015

The sol 976 drive was successful and we are close to “Jocko Chute” (our informal name for the saddle point west of Jocko Butte). In the sol 978 plan, we have a ChemCam LIBS observation of a patch of exposed bedrock called “Big Salmon”, followed by lots of Mastcam images.… Read More