Astrogeology Science Center

Crater on Mars Named López

7 October 2014

The IAU Working Group for Planetary System Nomenclature has approved the name López for a crater on Mars. For more information, see the map of Mars quadrangle MC-22 in the Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature.

Sol 771 Update on Curiosity from USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: Arm recovery

6 October 2014

During the nighttime MAHLI imaging on Sol 768, there was a problem with arm positioning that prevented the subsequent arm activities from completing.  The problem is understood, and the arm is in a safe configuration.  So the Sol 771 plan includes arm recovery activities as well as… Read More

Sol 768-770 Update on Curiosity from USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: Preparing SAM

3 October 2014

The tactical team took a day off Thursday to make the transition from restricted (every other day) to nominal (daily) planning.  That meant that, to complete all of the planning for the weekend in time to send the commands to the rover by the start of Sol 768 (at 7 PM PDT), planning had to… Read More

Sol 767 Update On Curiosity From MSL Scientist Lauren Edgar: Dump Pile

1 October 2014

Curiosity continues to investigate the Pahrump Hills outcrop. The Sol 767 plan includes MAHLI and APXS observations of the target Morrison, as well as MAHLI images of the drill hole and dump pile (the dump pile consists of the part of the drilled sample that did not make it through the… Read More

Sol 766 Update on Curiosity from MSL Scientist Lauren Edgar: Confidence Hills

30 September 2014

Curiosity is currently investigating the Pahrump Hills outcrop. This Navcam image from Sol 762 shows part of the workspace with the arm down, analyzing the Confidence Hills drill tailings. While we wait for CheMin to tell us what minerals are present in the drilled sample, we will spend Sol… Read More

Sol 765 Update on Curiosity from USGS Scientist Ryan Anderson: Feeding CheMin

29 September 2014

After our successful drill last week, the main event in today’s sol 765 plan is dropping off the drilled sample in CheMin, which will tell us what minerals are in the rocks of Pahrump Hills. CheMin works by shining a beam of X-rays through the sample and recording how the X-rays reflect off… Read More

Sol 762-764 Update on Curiosity from USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: Sample Handling

26 September 2014

Arm activities will resume on Sol 762, starting where they left off on Sol 759, with transfer of the drill sample to the scoop and Mastcam imaging of it.  Then the APXS will be placed on the drill tailings (target dubbed "Paradox") for an overnight integration.  In addition, ChemCam… Read More

Sol 761 Update on Curiosity from USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: Software patch

25 September 2014

The Sol 759 drill hole looks good, but there was a problem with one of the rover's gyroscopes that halted the transfer of drill sample to the scoop.  This did not significantly affect Sol 761 planning, which is dominated by patching flight software and SAM preconditioning. … Read More

Sol 759-760 Update on Curiosity from USGS Scientist Ryan Anderson: Drill Baby, Drill!

23 September 2014

It’s time to drill! The mini-drill over the weekend showed that the Pahrump Hills outcrop is nice and stable, so the main activity in the sol 759 plan is a full drill and the associated images from Mastcam and MAHLI. While the arm is out, we will also make some APXS measurements of the… Read More

Sol 755-758 Update on Curiosity from USGS Scientist Ryan Anderson: Mini-Drilling Pahrump Hills

22 September 2014

Curiosity has had a busy weekend! We arrived at the location called Pahrump Hills, which has a nice flat expanse of bedrock for us to drill and get our first taste of Mt. Sharp rocks. On Sol 755 we took pictures of the outcrop with MAHLI, brushed it with the Dust Removal Tool (DRT), and… Read More