Today we honored the contributions of women on the MSL team, with 75% of the operations roles filled by women! I was on duty as the Geology and Mineralogy Science Theme Lead, and it was an exciting day of planning. Curiosity has just entered the Shoshone quad, and our top priority is driving. … Read More
After a 107 m drive on sol 670, we are now in Shoshone quad, and just 160 m from the edge of the landing ellipse! The sol 671 plan is a lot like the sol 670 plan, with a 3 hour drive as the main activity. These long drives often use visual odometry, where the rover takes pictures along the way to… Read More
After yesterday’s drive of around 39 m, we are just 24 m away from the boundary of the Shoshone quad! The landing site is divided up into squares 1.5 km on a side that we call quads. All of the targets in a given quad are assigned names from assigned names from various geologically… Read More
The IAU Working Group for Planetary System Nomenclature has approved names for three craters on Mercury: Aneirin, Hafiz, and Sanai. For more information, see the Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature.
Happy new year everyone! As of around 3pm (Mars time) on sol 669, Curiosity will have been exploring Mars for a full martian year (687 Earth days). And what a year it’s been! We’ve driven a long way and done a lot of great science. We’ve measured the age of martian rocks, found… Read More
On Sol 665, Curiosity completed the longest drive of the mission so far (142.5 m!) through the Moosilauke Basin, and we’re busy planning 3 sols of activities that Curiosity will carry out over the weekend. On the first sol Curiosity will acquire ChemCam observations of a rock target and a soil… Read More
On Sol 665 Curiosity is planning to drive through Robert Frost Pass into Moosilauke Basin. There is an hour of time for targeted science on Sol 665, which includes several ChemCam and Mastcam observations to characterize the local geology. The plan also includes some systematic DAN and REMS… Read More
I’m hoping to be able to resume blogging about MSL soon, but it will be difficult to report very frequently because of continuing personal and professional commitments. Fortunately, two other members of the MSL science team have volunteered to help with this blog: Ryan Anderson and Lauren… Read More
THEMIS infrared geodetically controlled mosaics, updated spacecraft pointing and orientation information (i.e., preliminary smithed SPICE kernels), and supporting documentation are available for download and public use from the United States Geological Survey (USGS) Astrogeology Science… Read More
The IAU Working Group for Planetary System Nomenclature has approved the name Malinkin for a crater on the Moon. For more information, see the map of the Moon quadrangle LAC-144 in the Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature.