Astrogeology Science Center

Sol 678 - 679 Update on Curiosity from USGS Scientist Ryan Anderson: In the Dunes

4 July 2014

The sol 678 drive was successful! We traversed 66.5 meters, ending our drive right were we expected near some picturesque wind-blown ripples. Looking at these ripples in orbital HiRISE images, you might think they were big sand dunes, but in truth they aren’t very tall at all. On sol 679,… Read More

Sol 678 Update On Curiosity From USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: Maneuvering

3 July 2014

The Sol 677 drive was stopped after almost 20 meters (out of 57 m planned) by the autonomous navigation software, when it detected an obstacle more than 20 cm high. But the rover is healthy and acquired the post-drive data as planned, including Navcam images showing the rover tracks into the… Read More

Sol 677 Update On Curiosity From USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: World Beater

1 July 2014

The Sol 676 drive halted after about 16 meters of progress (out of ~39 m planned) because the rover's yaw diverged too much from the commanded heading. Otherwise, all activities completed as planned and the rover is healthy. So another rapid-traverse drive is planned for Sol 677, preceded by… Read More

Sol 676 Update On Curiosity From USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: Rapid Traverse

30 June 2014

Last weekend, MSL successfully backed out of the sandy ripple, pausing to image her tracks. So more driving toward Mt. Sharp is planned for this week. Because of the phasing between Earth and Mars time, we are planning rapid-traverse sols, in which the entire uplink process is completed in only… Read More

Sol 673 - 675 Update On Curiosity From USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: Out of the Ellipse

28 June 2014

I'm MAHLI/MARDI uplink lead today, planning Sols 673-675 to get MSL through the weekend. It turned out to be a busy day, as the Sol 672 did not complete nominally. A 101-meter drive was planned, but after traversing 82 meters the rover stopped because it determined that it was slipping too much.… Read More

Sol 672 Update on Curiosity from MSL Scientist Lauren Edgar: Women's Curiosity Day

27 June 2014

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

Sol 671 Update on Curiosity from USGS Scientist Ryan Anderson: Long Drive

25 June 2014

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

Sol 670 Update on Curiosity from USGS Scientist Ryan Anderson: Quad Hopping

24 June 2014

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

Sol 669 Update on Curiosity from USGS Scientist Ryan Anderson: One Mars Year!

23 June 2014

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

Sol 666 - 668 Update On Curiosity From MSL Scientist Lauren Edgar: Going the Distance

20 June 2014

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