Astrogeology Science Center

Sol 542 - 543 Update On Curiosity From USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: Fitting Everything In

12 February 2014

I'm SOWG Chair again for another 2-sol plan, and it's been a more hectic planning day. The Sol 540 drive went well, about 71 meters total. A shorter (~23 m) drive is planned for Sol 542, allowing some time for pre-drive targeted Mastcam stereo imaging and MAHLI images of the wheels. Because the… Read More

Sol 540 - 541 Update On Curiosity From USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: Small Valley

11 February 2014

I'm SOWG Chair today for a 2-sol plan. Planning is restricted again, as we won't receive the data from Sol 540 until late Tuesday. So we're planning a ~73-meter drive on Sol 540 and untargeted remote science on Sol 541. Before the drive, we've planned big Mastcam mosaics of the walls of the… Read More

Mapper Tip: Display Lon, Lat in 180/360 or East/West

7 February 2014

This simple tool will allow you to ´╗┐display Longitude and Latitiude using the different Longitude domains "180/360" and/or "East/West".  ´╗┐Left click to write current coordinates to ArcMap's Python window to copy/paste into other applications. Simply download (or here) and double click to… Read More

Sol 537 -539 Update On Curiosity From USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: Traversing the Dune

7 February 2014

This week the data from MSL have been arriving later and later each day, as expected because Mars' day is about 40 minutes longer than Earth's day. The data arrived so late yesterday that no planning was possible, and now we are back in "restricted" planning. But the data look good, showing that… Read More

Sol 534 Update On Curiosity From USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: No Drive

5 February 2014

The Sol 533 toe dip went well, leaving the rover's front wheels on the crest of the dune. The Sol 534 plan was to drive over dune into Dingo Gap, but late in the day it was cancelled. The Rover Drivers had some concerns about the terrain and it was decided that delay the drive to Sol 535 in… Read More

Sol 533 Update On Curiosity From USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: Toe Dip

4 February 2014

The initial "toe dip" into the dune in Dingo Gap was planned for Sol 533. If it goes well, the rover will be commanded to cross the dune, probably on the left (south) side, on Sol 534. I'm catching up on the latest MSL plans after spending the day working MER tactical operations as… Read More

Job Opening: Planetary Scientist

3 February 2014

Are you a scientist interested in pursuing planetary science research? Do you have experience in remote sensing and image processing as it applies to planetary geology studies? Do you want to be part of the design and operation of new science instruments for the exploration of the planets and… Read More

Sol 530 - 532 Update On Curiosity From USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: Going for It

3 February 2014

Using the images acquired of Dingo Gap beyond the dune, it appears that the gap can be safely traversed, and the Project decided to drive through the gap. But first, the weekend plan included lots of targeted science observations on Sol 530, APXS and MAHLI observations of the dune inside and… Read More

Sol 529 Update On Curiosity From USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: The Scuff

30 January 2014

At the end of the Sol 528 drive, the rover "scuffed" the dune with its right front wheel, then backed away and took images of the scuff. These images were used to confirm that the arm instruments can be placed in the scuff, to examine the freshly-exposed material within the dune. So no rover… Read More

Sol 528 Update On Curiosity From USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: Looking Back at Purgatory Dune

29 January 2014

In order to learn more about the sand dune in Dingo Gap, the rover will be commanded to drive up to it on Sol 528. Mobility tests on terrestrial sand dunes show that MSL can climb dunes, but we don't yet know that the feature in front of MSL is sandy throughout. Opportunity got stuck in… Read More