Astrogeology Science Center

Sol 805 Update on Curiosity from USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: Tight Sol

10 November 2014

MSL planning is no longer restricted, but today's commands must be sent to the spacecraft earlier than usual, so tactical planning started 1 hour earlier than usual.  The Sol 803 drive put the rover in a good position for examination of fine-scale layering using the arm instruments.  … Read More

Sol 803-804 Update on Curiosity from USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: Shoemaker

7 November 2014

I'm not on shift today, but keeping up with planning because I'm scheduled as SOWG Chair again on Monday.  And of course I'm curious to see how Curiosity is doing!  The arm activities planned for Sols 801 and 802 completed successfully, so this weekend the rover will drive toward… Read More

New Descriptor Term and Theme Approved for Use on Titan

6 November 2014

The IAU Working Group for Planetary Nomenclature has approved the descriptor term fretum for use on Titan. The theme will be "Names of characters from the Foundation series of science fiction novels by American author Isaac Asimov (1920-1992)." For more information, see the list of descriptor… Read More

Sol 801-802 Update on Curiosity from USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: Investigating the Scuff

5 November 2014

The short drive and wheel scuffing activities planned for Sol 799 all completed as planned, leaving the rover in position for detailed examination of the scuff.  Planning is still restricted, so we are planning 2 sols again today.  On Sol 801, Mastcam and ChemCam will observe the… Read More

Sol 799-800 Update on Curiosity from USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: Walkabout Completed

3 November 2014

The initial reconnaissance of the Pahrump Hills outcrop is complete, and the 53-meter Sol 797 drive successfully placed the rover near the ripples of interest.  So the Sol 799 plan includes a short drive into the ripples and "scuffing" of a 15-cm high ripple to examine its interior. … Read More

New Names Approved for Four Features on Mars

1 November 2014

The IAU Working Group for Planetary Nomenclature has approved names for four features on Mars: Pital, Juventae Cavi, Hydrae Cavus, and Hydrae Chaos. For more information, see the Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature.

Sol 796-798 Update on Curiosity from USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: Whale Rock

31 October 2014

The 30-meter drive planned for Sol 794 completed perfectly, placing the rover near laminated blocks shed from the Whale Rock outcrop (visible at upper right in this image).  So ChemCam and Mastcam will observe some of these blocks and the outcrop on Sol 796, before the rover drives away… Read More

Two Themes Approved for Ceres

29 October 2014

The IAU Working Group for Planetary System Nomenclature has approved two themes for use on Ceres.  The theme for craters is “Gods and goddesses of agriculture and vegetation from world mythology”. The theme “Names of agricultural festivals of the world” will be used for other features. The… Read More

Sol 794-795 Update on Curiosity from USGS Scientist Ryan Anderson: Beautiful Layers

29 October 2014

The 15.8 meter drive on Sol 792 was successful, bringing Curiosity right up to the Chinle outcrop, which has some beautiful layering. In the Sol 794 plan, we have ChemCam observations of four targets on the outcrop: “Cima,” “Sespe,” “Aguereberry Point,” and… Read More

Sol 792-793 Update on Curiosity from USGS Scientist Ryan Anderson

27 October 2014

I’ve been swamped with work for other projects recently, but those are behind me now, and I’m excited to get caught up on what Curiosity has been doing! The plan for Sol 792 has a nice big science block that we plan to fill with lots of targeted observations by ChemCam and Mastcam.… Read More