Astrogeology Science Center

Sol 13 Update on Curiosity from USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: All-Star Crew

19 August 2012

I served as SOWG Chair again today, planning Sol 13 activities for MSL. The tactical planning team is getting better at getting everything done in time to send commands to the rover, so we were able to fit more new scientific observations into the plan today. Fortunately, the science team was led… Read More

Sol 12 Update on Curiosity from USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: Mars Time

18 August 2012

Those of us supporting MSL tactical mission operations are living on "Mars time." A day on Mars, or "sol" is about 40 minutes longer than a day on Earth, but our workday doesn't shift exactly 40 minutes later each day because the tactical schedule is tied to the receipt of data from the orbiters… Read More

Sol 11 Update on Curiosity from USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: ChemCam Testing

16 August 2012

I served as SOWG chair again today, planning Sol 11 of the MSL mission. All is going well, but slowly--we continue to confirm that instruments are working and to get ready for more ambitious activities. Today's plan was so full of stuff that we have to do to realize the full potential of MSL that… Read More

Sol 10 Update on Curiosity from USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: Science Kickoff

15 August 2012

After a nice vacation in Flagstaff, I returned to JPL in time for Sol 10 planning. I was scheduled this time as Science Operations Working Group (SOWG) Chair, with responsibility for leading the discussion of data received the previous sol and deciding what to do the next sol. This job is part of… Read More

Sol 3 Update on Curiosity from USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: Navcam Panorama

8 August 2012

Another good day on Mars: MSL's remote sensing mast was successfully deployed, and a Navcam panorama acquired. Not all of the images have been sent to Earth yet, but those that have been received are very useful for planning future observations. In addition, more full-resolution descent… Read More

Sol 2 Update on Curiosity from USGS Scientist, Ken Herkenhoff: Planning Report

7 August 2012

Today I'm working as Science Uplink Representative again, planning Sol 2 activities. We now know exactly where MSL is, thanks to more good work by the MRO HiRISE team: They acquired a new image of the landing area that shows not only the rover, but its heat shield, parachute, and descent stage,… Read More

Sol 1 Update on Curiosity from USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: Tactical Operations

6 August 2012

I'm working second shift today; my tactical operations role is Science Uplink Representative. As the title implies, my responsibility is to represent the science team during the uplink planning process (preparing command sequences to be transmitted to the spacecraft). The early part… Read More

Update on Curiosity from USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: MSL Curiosity Rover lands on Mars!

5 August 2012

All three of the USGS scientists involved in MSL are in a large conference room in JPL building 321, along with over 400 other science team members. The tension in the room is rising as MSL approaches Mars. Mars Odyssey is in position and sending a good signal, ready to relay data from MSL during… Read More

USGS Scientist, Justin Hagerty, honored by President Obama

24 July 2012

Dr. Justin Hagerty, a research geologist with the U.S. Geological Survey, was named one of President Obama's recipients of the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, the highest honor bestowed by the United States government on science and engineering professionals in the… Read More

Mars Odyssey Release 40

16 July 2012

July 16, 2012: The 40th Mars Odyssey release has occurred. The data may be accessed at the online data volumes and via the Image Atlas. These data are accumulating.