After taking a break from tactical operations for an MSL science team meeting (and a bit of vacation) last week, I'm back on as SOWG chair for Sol 195 planning. The most exciting part of this plan is "feeding" some of the first drill sample to Chemin. There wasn't much room to add additional… Read More
The Atlantic featured the Astrogeology Science Center in an article titled, When We Blew Up Arizona to Simulate the Moon. The article delves into the astronaut training and crater making that occurred at Cinder Lake in preparation for the Apollo Moon landings. For more information, see the RPIF… Read More
The yearly Planetary Geologic Mappers meeting will be held at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington D.C. on Wednesday, June 19 through Friday, June 21. Please see flyer at http://bit.ly/PGM2013_FlyerThe yearly Planetary Geologic Mappers meeting will be held at the Smithsonian Institute in… Read More
The IAU Working Group for Planetary System Nomenclature has approved the name Vid Flumina for a channel on Titan. For more information, see the IAU Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature.
I was happy to see that first drill sample was successfully acquired on Sol 182, as shown in one of the MAHLI images I helped plan. The whole team is very excited about this news!
The "mini-drill" test went well, so Sol 182 planning focused on the first full drilling activity. As MAHLI/MARDI uplink lead again, I concentrated on planning MAHLI images of the drill target, to be taken both before and after the drilling. A lot of effort had already gone into planning these… Read More
Planning is still "restricted," so we had an opportunity to acquire more ChemCam and imaging data on Sol 181 while waiting for confirmation that the Sol 180 "mini-drill" test completed successfully. As MAHLI/MARDI uplink lead, I focused on planning MAHLI images of 3 targets in front of the rover.… Read More
Because the "drill-on-rock checkout" activity did not complete successfully on Sol 174, the MSL team had to work extra hard to determine how best to recover from the anomaly. Several engineers worked overnight in the rover testbed at JPL to understand the root cause of the problem in time to… Read More
As SOWG Chair again, I worked hard today to fit as many observations into the Sol 175 plan as possible while leaving enough energy in the batteries for Sol 176 activities. Overnight SAM analysis of a blank cell in preparation for a drill sample takes a lot of power, but we were still able to plan… Read More
The IAU Working Group for Planetary System Nomenclature has approved the name Lucaya for a crater on Mars. For more information, see the map of MC-21 in the Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature.