It’s hard to believe, but this experience is almost over. This was really driven home today, as some of the crewmembers started packing their personal belongings. All we have left is one weekend, which will be filled with wrapping up personal research activities, and Monday, which will… Read More
My SOWG Chair shift today was especially busy, as we planned MSL's first "touch and go. The plan is to deploy the arm on Sol 360 for MAHLI and APXS observations of a rock right in front of the rover, then the arm will be stowed for another drive on Sol 361. We are also planning to observe a… Read More
The Sol 356 drive went well, so another drive was planned for Sol 358. We are still "restricted," as the post-drive data will not arrive until 10 PM PDT tonight. So the Sol 359 plan includes only untargeted observations. The plan is therefore pretty simple, which is making for an easy SOWG Chair… Read More
The MESSENGER mission featured two USGS Astrogeology Science Center map experts; computer scientist, Kris Becker and cartographer, Tammy Becker; on their mission web site. The profile includes background information and highlights of the Becker's accomplishments while working as team members on… Read More
The MSL team is celebrating the first Earth year of operations on the surface of Mars, at JPL, on NASA TV, and at participating institutions around the world. In addition, the New York Times launched their Curiosity Tracker, which makes it easy to review previous results of the mission and keep… Read More
The Working Group for Planetary System Nomenclature has approved new names for three craters on Mars: Belyov, Reutov, and Tyuratam. For more information, see the Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature.
MSL landed on Mars one Earth year ago tonight, so there were cheers and applause during the SOWG meeting today. There are some nice products on the MSL web page celebrating the first of (hopefully) many anniversaries to come. Today the tactical operations team is planning targeted remote sensing… Read More
The latest drive covered over 80 meters, and we are planning another drive on the second sol of the 3-sol weekend plan. In addition, more of the Cumberland drill sample will be dropped into SAM on the first sol, for analysis overnight. This is the first time arm activities and a drive have been… Read More
Curiosity continues to drive at every opportunity, typically 70 meters each. Planning these longer drives leaves less time for science observations, but the trade is worthwhile because more interesting geology lies ahead. Meanwhile, Opportunity (launched over 10 years ago) has paused at a rock… Read More
The Working Group for Planetary System Nomenclature has approved new names for four features on Ganymede: Melotte Regio, Babylon Sulci, Borsippa Sulcus, and Mummu Sulci. For more information, see the Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature.