Astrogeology Science Center

Sol 1292: Gnarly terrain ahead

24 March 2016

Data was recovered from the missing MRO pass on Sol 1290, and we confirmed that the 23 m drive went well.  Today’s plan is to keep driving across the Naukluft Plateau.  The terrain looks pretty rough, so we’re plotting our course carefully.  Science activities in… Read More

Sol 1291: Another curveball

23 March 2016

Mars is certainly keeping us on our toes this week, and reminding us how challenging it can be to do remote operations on another planet.  We use two satellites in orbit around Mars to relay data: Mars Odyssey (ODY) and the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO).  On Sol 1290, the ODY pass… Read More

Sol 1290: A good vantage point

22 March 2016

The drive on Sol 1290 was successful, and Curiosity drove ~15 m to the north.  We are currently sitting on top of a ridge in the Stimson formation, which provides a good view of the surrounding terrain and will enable us to plan the upcoming drives better. The goal this week is to keep making… Read More

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