Astrogeology Science Center

Sol 1289: Third time’s the charm?

21 March 2016

 The science that we planned over the weekend went smoothly, and we acquired some beautiful MAHLI and Mastcam images.  However, the drive that was planned for Sol 1288 did not occur because the rover determined that a planned arm move would exceed a safety limit..  Because this fault… Read More

Sols 1286-1288: Blame it on the leprechauns

18 March 2016

 St. Patrick’s Day on Mars didn’t quite go as planned.  Yesterday we planned a ~15 m drive to a nearby ridge, but we came in this morning to find that the drive didn’t occur (blame it on the leprechauns?).  In reality, we can blame it on a short in the RTG, which… Read More

Name Approved for Feature on Titan: Buzzell Planitia

18 March 2016

The IAU Working Group for Planetary System Nomenclature has approved the name Buzzell Planitia for a feature on Titan. For more information, see Titan's South Pole map and the Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature.

Sol 1285: Still driving across the Naukluft Plateau

17 March 2016

 Curiosity is still working her way across the Naukluft Plateau.  On Sol 1284 Curiosity drove ~27 m, which brings our total traverse distance to ~12,549 m.  Today’s plan is fairly straightforward.  In the morning, Curiosity will acquire Mastcam and ChemCam on targets named… Read More

Sol 1284: Driving Across the Plateau

16 March 2016

MSL drove almost 40 meters over the rough terrain on the Naukluft plateau, as planned, and again there are many interesting features near the rover.  Many of the rocks appear to have been abraded by windblown sand, resulting in some bizarre shapes in places.  The chemical and… Read More

Sol 1283: Driving over Stimson bedrock

15 March 2016

The 26-meter drive planned for sol 1282 completed successfully, giving the rover nice views of interesting features in the Stimson unit.  Some of these features appear to be the result of erosion by windblown sand and are the subject of a Right Mastcam 7x2 mosaic planned for Sol… Read More

Sol 1282: Up on the Plateau

14 March 2016

I'm scheduled on tactical operations tomorrow, so I'm getting back up to speed on recent MSL activities today.  The Sol 1281 drive completed as planned, crossing the Murray/Stimson contact at the edge of the Naukluft plateau.  Now that we have a better view of the plateau, we are… Read More

Sols 1279-1281: Climbing up onto Naukluft Plateau

11 March 2016

It’s time to wrap up our investigation of the interesting nodules at the contact between the Murray and Stimson formations and resume driving! The weekend starts off focused mostly on contact science. On Sol 1279, APXS will analyze two neighboring locations on a group of… Read More

Sol 1278: Nodules: Take 2

10 March 2016

Our APXS observation of the nodules in yesterday’s plan didn’t go exactly as planned: it was slightly misaligned with the nodule we were trying to analyze, so the measurement was mostly of the neighboring bedrock. That meant planning today started with a discussion of whether the… Read More

Sol 1277: Nodules!

9 March 2016

Our drive yesterday was a success, putting us right on the contact between the “Murray” and “Stimson” units, and in reach of some very interesting nodules. The plan today is mostly focused on studying those nodules. ChemCam has an observation of a nodule and neighboring… Read More