Astrogeology Science Center

Sol 696 Update on Curiosity from USGS Scientist Ryan Anderson: Using Every Instrument

21 July 2014

We’re slowly picking our way across the rugged cap-rock of Zabriskie Plateau. Over the weekend we drove 23.4 m while also managing to use every single instrument on the rover! For the Sol 696 plan we will be doing two quick APXS integrations on targets Wildrose and Surprise, along with… Read More

Sol 693 - 695 Update On Curiosity From USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: South Park

19 July 2014

There isn't time today to plan 3 sols of activities before commands for Sol 693 must be sent to the rover, so no activities are being planned for Sol 693. The plan for Sols 694 includes MAHLI and APXS observations of South Park, ChemCam of Johnnie and Mastcam images of both targets. Another… Read More

New Global Geologic Map of Mars

18 July 2014

A new global geologic map of Mars – the most thorough representation of the "Red Planet's" surface – has been published by the U.S. Geological Survey. This map provides a framework for continued scientific investigation of Mars as the long-range target for human space exploration. The… Read More

Sol 692 Update On Curiosity From USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: Bizarre Environment

18 July 2014

Another good day at the International Mars Conference, with back-to-back talks by USGS Astrogeologists: First, Colin Dundas showed evidence in Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter HiRISE images for the ongoing formation of gullies, involving seasonal carbon dioxide frost (dry ice) but not necessarily… Read More

Sol 691 Update On Curiosity From USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: Plasma!

17 July 2014

Some of the MAHLI images taken during the Sol 687 ChemCam LIBS measurements of Nova captured the plasma generated by the laser! The Sol 690 drive completed as planned, totaling nearly 30 meters over relatively rough terrain. Another rapid-traverse sol was planned today, with ChemCam and Mastcam… Read More

Sol 690 Update on Curiosity from USGS Scientist Ryan Anderson: The First Billion Years

16 July 2014

Today was another day of fascinating science at the 8th International Conference on Mars! The theme today was The first billion years and I was struck with the growing number of people suggesting that Mars was never particularly warm or wet in its past. Bob Haberle gave a nice summary of the… Read More

Sol 689 Update On Curiosity From USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: Mars Science Conference

15 July 2014

Many of the scientists on the MSL team are attending the 8th International Mars Science Conference this week on the Caltech campus in Pasadena. I was pleased to see that 2 of the first 3 speakers were USGS Astrogeology colleagues: The first speaker, Ken Tanaka, introduced the new global geologic… Read More

Sol 687 Update on Curiosity from USGS Scientist Ryan Anderson: Soliday

12 July 2014

Today we received data from sol 685, showing that we drove 60.4 meters, and the rover is busy doing its sol 686 activities right now. Today we are planning sols 687 and 688 to cover the weekend (Sunday is a soliday, which is a day without planning to allow Earth and Mars schedules to sync back… Read More

Sol 686 Update on Curiosity from USGS Scientist Ryan Anderson: Cut Short

11 July 2014

The sol 683 drive was cut a bit short because the rover yaw exceeded the specified limits for the drive, which is a fancy way of saying that the rover steered away from its planned route to avoid an obstacle. The rover drivers tell the rover to stop when a drive deviates too far from the… Read More

Sol 685 Update on Curiosity from MSL Scientist Lauren Edgar: Science Block

10 July 2014

Today we are planning Sol 685, which includes a short pre-drive science block, 2.5 hours of driving, and some post-drive imaging for targeting. The pre-drive science block contains some environmental monitoring including ChemCam passive spectroscopy of atmospheric composition and a Mastcam… Read More