Astrogeology Science Center

Sol 195 Update on Curiosity from USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: Feeding Chemin

21 February 2013

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 Magazine Features Astrogeology

19 February 2013

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

Yearly Planetary Geologic Mappers Meeting

15 February 2013

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

New Name for a Channel on Titan

13 February 2013

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.

Sol 183 Update on Curiosity from USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: First Drill Sample!

10 February 2013

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!

Sol 182 Update on Curiosity from USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: Mini-Drill Test

7 February 2013

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

Sol 181 Update on Curiosity from USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: Waiting for Confirmation

6 February 2013

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

Sol 176 Update on Curiosity from USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: Anomaly

1 February 2013

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

Sol 175 Update on Curiosity from USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: Runout Plan

31 January 2013

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

Martian Crater Named Lucaya

30 January 2013

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.