Astrogeology Science Center

Sols 1191-1193: On the road again

11 December 2015

We received the data needed to plan contact science and a drive, and the 3-sol weekend plan is another full one.  I was busy as MAHLI/MARDI uplink lead, planning observations of a couple targets on an outcrop right in front of the rover.  On Sol 1191, MAHLI will acquire full suites… Read More

Sols 1189-1190: Drive precluded

9 December 2015

Because of a problem with one of the DSN station antennas, the data needed to plan a drive today were not received, so the Sol 1189-90 plan is dominated by remote sensing observations.  Neither driving nor arm activities are possible until the necessary images are retransmitted.  On Sol… Read More

Sols 1187-1188: Analyzing bedrock and sand

7 December 2015

After successfully completing a mobility test last week (as seen by our wheel tracks through this sand patch), Curiosity drove ~35 m toward a dune that is now named “Namib.”  We’ve accomplished a lot of reconnaissance imaging of the dunes, and we’re looking ahead to… Read More

Ten Names Approved for Features on Ceres

4 December 2015

The IAU Working Group for Planetary System Nomenclature has approved names for ten features on Ceres, including Erntedank Planum and names for nine craters. For more information, see the Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature.

Sols 1184-1187: Busy weekend at High Dune

4 December 2015

The rover has arrived at the edge of “High Dune” and we have a very busy weekend plan studying the dune and then continuing to drive. On sol 1184 we will continue testing the AEGIS software that allows the rover to fine-tune its targeting for ChemCam. After that, ChemCam will analyze… Read More

Sol 1183: Completing mobility tests

3 December 2015

Today we are planning the last sol of the mobility test, turning and backing out of the sand while taking multiple Hazcam images, then pausing to take Navcam and Mastcam images of the wheel tracks.  But first, Mastcam will take multispectral images of a rock named “Narabeb” and a… Read More

Sol 1182: Studying our Tracks

2 December 2015

Today’s plan is focused on studying the results of yesterday’s mobility test where we drove a little ways into a sand patch and then backed out, leaving trenches where the wheels were. Yes, we’re disturbing some of the very photogenic sand ripples that we have been seeing, but… Read More

Sol 1181: Mobility testing

1 December 2015

Due to problems at the Goldstone DSN complex, the bundle of command sequences generated for Sol 1180 could not be sent to MSL.  So the rover performed minimal activities on Sol 1180, as expected in “runout” mode.  The good news is that the rover’s batteries are charged… Read More

Sol 1180: Heater table update

30 November 2015

The MAHLI wheel imaging planned for Sol 1179 completed nominally, and the initial assessment showed no broken grousers.  The rover is now poised to begin testing mobility in the dark sand in front of the vehicle, but first a table used onboard to determine when heating is needed must be… Read More

Names Approved for Two Craters on Mars: Catota and Dunkassa

27 November 2015

The IAU Working Group for Planetary System Nomenclature has approved names for two craters on Mars: Catota and Dunkassa. For more information, see the Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature.