Astrogeology Science Center

Sol 129 update on Curiosity from USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: Contact Science

16 December 2012

We have been waiting for the remaining soil sample in CHIMRA to be dumped before the arm instruments can be fully used again. The Sol 128 plan included cleaning the sample out of CHIMRA and taking Mastcam images to confirm that the cleaning was successful. If that went well, we could plan… Read More

Sol 126 update on Curiosity from USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: Back to Mars

13 December 2012

I'm back in Flagstaff after a nice vacation with my wife, catching up on what the rovers have been doing while I was away. MSL has been busy driving down into "Yellowknife Bay," pausing at a layered outcrop dubbed Shaler to acquire remote-sensing data. The rover is now on the floor of… Read More

Sol 115 update on Curiosity from USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: Organics?

4 December 2012

Again, there were no MAHLI or MARDI activities planned during my last sol (for a while) as PUL. But lots of ChemCam and Mastcam observations of local rock targets were planned, along with SAM's 4th analysis of soil. The previous measurements of the soil show evidence for a variety of compounds,… Read More

Sol 114 update on Curiosity from USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: Looking Forward to AGU

30 November 2012

I'm MAHLI/MARDI PUL1 again today, and again no MAHLI or MARDI activities made it into the plan. The focus of the Sol 114 plan is to deliver another sample of the wind ripple to SAM. The last scoop sample was saved in CHIMRA to allow the option of analyzing another sample; we are exercising that… Read More

Sol 113 update on Curiosity from USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: The Drill

29 November 2012

I'm back on tactical operations today, this time as MAHLI/MARDI Payload Uplink Lead. The Sol 113 plan included further checkouts of the drill and other remote sensing, but no MAHLI or MARDI activities, so it was an easy day for me. Just as well, as I'm scrambling to catch up with work on other… Read More

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