I was SOWG Chair today for the first time since the conjunction stand-down. A new version of flight software has been installed on the rover, and many of the Sol 269 activities focused on acquiring images needed to evaluate the precision of camera pointing on the "B" computer running the new… Read More
One of the many hats I wear on this mission is that of the Crew Geologist. My other roles include Health & Safety Officer, Information and Communications Technology Officer, EVA Planner, and Thermographer. That will probably be typical on future planetary exploration missions: due to the small… Read More
Both Mars rovers survived conjunction, when they could not be reliably commanded for most of April. Opportunity had some computer issues, but is now back under sequence control and a short drive was planned today. MSL (Curiosity) is healthy and the first post-conjunction tactical planning is today.… Read More
The Working Group for Planetary System Nomenclature has approved new names for five valles on Mercury: Angkor Vallis, Cahokia Vallis, Caral Vallis, Paestum Vallis, and Timgad Vallis. For more information, see the Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature.
For most of April, while Mars is behind the Sun as seen from Earth, no commands are being sent to MSL. Before the start of the solar conjunction stand-down, the rover was programmed to acquire radiation and weather data every day. The Sun interferes with radio waves that pass close to it, but we… Read More
It’s impossible to fully appreciate something at the moment it’s happening. That’s particularly true for an experience like this. Since we arrived at the HI-SEAS hab, every day has been a whirlwind of activity. For myself, this included setting up and troubleshooting computers and… Read More
USGS Scientist Oleg Abramov officially entered the habitat and began his 120-day space simulation exercise known as HI-SEAS (Hawaii Space Exploration Analog and Simulation). His research will concentrate on thermal modelling and temperature control in a simulated space habitat. Keep posted on his… Read More
The NASA/USGS PDS Imaging Node has corrected the following data in the Unified Planetary Coordinate (UPC) Database. MISSION / INSTRUMENT: Mars Odyssey / THEMIS_IR Mapped: 10,923 Unmapped: 63 Total: 10,986 These are corrected IR night images that previously were unmapped. Please visit PILOT to… Read More
Astrogeology's Planetary Geologic Mapping Program is pleased to announce a renovated website. The new site is built to help the planetary community locate completed geologic maps, track maps currently in progress, and find regions which are not yet funded to be mapped. The original website will be… Read More
The NASA/USGS PDS Imaging Node has added the following data to the Unified Planetary Coordinate (UPC) Database. MISSION / INSTRUMENT: MARS Odyssey / THEMIS_VIS Mapped: 182,196 Unmapped: 134 Total: 182,330 Please visit PILOT to access/download the new release.