Astrogeology Science Center

Sol 322 Update On Curiosity From USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: Contacting Shaler

1 July 2013

"Contact science," including APXS and MAHLI close-up observations of a couple of rocks at the "Shaler" outcrop, are being planned for Sols 322 and 323. There are still some concerns about the stability of the rover, so some of these observations may be delayed to Sol 323 to allow more time to… Read More

New Name for a Crater on Mercury

25 June 2013

The Working Group for Planetary System Nomenclature has approved the name Fuller for a crater on Mercury. For more information, see the Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature.

New Name for a Valley System on Mars

25 June 2013

The IAU Working Group for Planetary System Nomenclature has approved the name Bashkaus Valles for a valley system on Mars. For more information, see the map of MC-19 in the Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature.

Sol 311 Update On Curiosity From USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: The Approach

25 June 2013

MSL continues to study the "Shaler" outcrop, slowed a bit by minor driving problems. Last week, the tilt of the rover exceeded the 12-degree limit during a drive toward the center of the outcrop, so the drive had to be commanded again. That drive was successful except that it ended with the left… Read More

Update on HI-SEAS from USGS Scientist Oleg Abramov: Lava Tubes

20 June 2013

We discovered a lot of lava tube skylights of all shapes and sizes near our habitat, and were actually able to enter one of them on a recent EVA. I thought I’d give a summary of that EVA here, along with lots of photos we took along the way. . . Read more on the HI-SEAS website. . .

Sol 308 Update On Curiosity From USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: Shaler

19 June 2013

The rover is approaching the last stop before hitting the road, an outcrop dubbed Shaler. We noticed the Shaler outcrop on our way into "Yellowknife Bay" but did not get close enough to study it in detail. So we plan study Shaler in detail before starting the traverse toward Mt. Sharp (Aeolis… Read More

Nine New Names Approved for Craters on Mercury

17 June 2013

The Working Group for Planetary System Nomenclature has approved new names for nine craters on Mercury: Bechet, Damer, David, Erté, Larrocha, Laxness, Monk, Rikyū, and Varma. For more information, see the Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature.

New Name for a Crater on Mercury

13 June 2013

The Working Group for Planetary System Nomenclature has approved the name Duccio for a crater on Mercury. For more information, see the Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature.

Sol 303 Update On Curiosity From USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: Nine Degree Tilt

12 June 2013

The approach to Point Lake on Sol 302 went well, allowing the arm to reach the outcrop of interest. However, the rover is tilted over 9 degrees, so we have to wait a sol to confirm that it is stable before planning contact science. Therefore, we could place MAHLI no closer than 10 cm from the… Read More

Sol 302 Update On Curiosity From USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: Point Lake Outcrop

11 June 2013

I'm SOWG Chair again today, planning Sol 302. The Sol 301 drive went well, and we received images after the drive was complete showing the Point Lake outcrop. Unfortunately, they showed that the slopes near the most interesting part of the outcrop are large enough that we would have to spend an… Read More