The Working Group for Planetary System Nomenclature has approved new names for two craters on Mars: Roddy and Luba. For more information, see the Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature.
I'm not on shift in any tactical operations roles, but have been helping finish up important observations in the "Cumberland" area before we drive away next week. In particular, I have been leading the effort to take MAHLI images of the drill hole walls at night, using the LEDs to illuminate the… Read More
Yesterday I was Geology/Mineralogy Science Theme Lead for the first time in months, so I was a bit rusty. We tried to fit some MAHLI imaging into the plan, along with overnight CheMin analysis of the Cumberland drill sample, but didn't have enough power. However, we were able to plan a… Read More
The IAU Working Group for Planetary System Nomenclature has approved the name Ladoga Lacus for a lacus on Titan. For more information, see the image of the north pole region of Titan in the Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature.
I was MAHLI uplink lead again for Sol 282, and helped plan images of the SAM and CheMin sample inlets to verify that samples were delivered properly. The plan also included sample dropoff to CheMin and overnight analysis. It's nice to see that the updates to the MAHLI "self portrait" of the rover… Read More
The drilling at "Cumberland" went perfectly. The MAHLI images that we planned for Sol 279 came out well. So the plan for Sol 281 includes sieving of the sample and feeding some of it to SAM. This will happen late in the afternoon, when winds are expected to be low, to avoid loosing some of the… Read More
I was MAHLI uplink lead today, planning 3 sols to get us through the weekend. It was a busy day--lots of MAHLI images were planned, both before and after drilling the Cumberland target. A SAM measurement of the atmosphere and SAM "preconditioning" in anticipation of the second drill sample… Read More
Because the critical data from yesterday's plan won't be received until around noon Pacific time, MSL tactical planning starts later than usual today. Even though the MSL project made the transition to "Earth time" planning months ago, the schedule is still allowed to shift a few hours when… Read More
It's good to see that the activities we planned over the weekend went well--the rover is now in position to drill the target "Cumberland." I'm MAHLI payload uplink lead for Sol 275, and helped plan MAHLI images of the potential drill target. These images are intended to confirm that the target is… Read More
Today we planned 3 sols (271-273) in one day for the first time on MSL. I was nervous about leading the science team as SOWG Chair through this challenging planning day, but it went smoothly. In fact, planning Sol 270 yesterday was more hectic, in part because of the variety of activities we… Read More