Autonomous navigation continues to work well, and Curiosity completed another long drive on Sol 378. However, the left rear wheel ended up on a ~6 cm rock, which is larger than allowed for safe deployment of the arm. The concern that the wheel might slip off the rock while the arm is moving… Read More
Scientists, including USGS Astrogeology Team Member, Justin Hagerty, have detected magmatic water — water that originates from deep within the Moon's interior — on the surface of the Moon. These findings, published in the August 25 issue of Nature Geoscience, represent the first such… Read More
The Sol 374 drive, including the AutoNav portion, went very well, so an even longer drive is planned for Sol 376. For the first time AutoNav will be used to drive 10 meters over the hill, or beyond the area imaged in stereo by the Navcams after the Sol 374 drive. If the AutoNav software… Read More
The autonomous navigation checkout, part of the Sol 372 drive, went perfectly! So "AutoNav" can be used for up to 90 minutes next time. If the software continues to work well, it will be used to drive into areas that cannot be seen from the rover (over hills, for example). The weekend plan… Read More
The Sol 371 drive set a new MSL distance record for a single sol, 110 meters. The Sol 372 drive will be shorter, but includes the first test of autonomous navigation ("AutoNav") on the "B" computer. After the Sol 200 anomaly, when the rover swapped to the B computer, problems with the terrain… Read More
The Sol 370 drive went well, and the rover stopped near an interesting outcrop. So we're planning as many observations as we can squeeze in before the next drive. Because we can see farther ahead of us than usual, the rover planners are planning to drive 100 meters or more. To allow this longer… Read More
After taking a week off from MSL tactical planning, I was back on shift as MAHLI/MARDI uplink lead yesterday, planning Sol 369. We are no longer restricted by the offset between Earth and Mars time, so we can plan drives every sol this week. After each drive, we continue to take MAHLI and MARDI… Read More
The IAU Working Group for Planetary System Nomenclature has approved the name Abisme for a crater on Iapetus. For more information, see the map of Iapetus in the Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature.
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The Working Group for Planetary System Nomenclature has approved new names for four features on Mars: Electris Mons, Eridania Mons, Sirenum Mons, and Sirenum Tholus. For more information, see the Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature.