Astrogeology Science Center

Sol 691 Update On Curiosity From USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: Plasma!

17 July 2014

Some of the MAHLI images taken during the Sol 687 ChemCam LIBS measurements of Nova captured the plasma generated by the laser! The Sol 690 drive completed as planned, totaling nearly 30 meters over relatively rough terrain. Another rapid-traverse sol was planned today, with ChemCam and Mastcam… Read More

Sol 690 Update on Curiosity from USGS Scientist Ryan Anderson: The First Billion Years

16 July 2014

Today was another day of fascinating science at the 8th International Conference on Mars! The theme today was The first billion years and I was struck with the growing number of people suggesting that Mars was never particularly warm or wet in its past. Bob Haberle gave a nice summary of the… Read More

Sol 689 Update On Curiosity From USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: Mars Science Conference

15 July 2014

Many of the scientists on the MSL team are attending the 8th International Mars Science Conference this week on the Caltech campus in Pasadena. I was pleased to see that 2 of the first 3 speakers were USGS Astrogeology colleagues: The first speaker, Ken Tanaka, introduced the new global geologic… Read More

Sol 687 Update on Curiosity from USGS Scientist Ryan Anderson: Soliday

12 July 2014

Today we received data from sol 685, showing that we drove 60.4 meters, and the rover is busy doing its sol 686 activities right now. Today we are planning sols 687 and 688 to cover the weekend (Sunday is a soliday, which is a day without planning to allow Earth and Mars schedules to sync back… Read More

Sol 686 Update on Curiosity from USGS Scientist Ryan Anderson: Cut Short

11 July 2014

The sol 683 drive was cut a bit short because the rover yaw exceeded the specified limits for the drive, which is a fancy way of saying that the rover steered away from its planned route to avoid an obstacle. The rover drivers tell the rover to stop when a drive deviates too far from the… Read More

Sol 685 Update on Curiosity from MSL Scientist Lauren Edgar: Science Block

10 July 2014

Today we are planning Sol 685, which includes a short pre-drive science block, 2.5 hours of driving, and some post-drive imaging for targeting. The pre-drive science block contains some environmental monitoring including ChemCam passive spectroscopy of atmospheric composition and a Mastcam… Read More

Sol 684 Update on Curiosity from MSL Scientist Lauren Edgar: Recharging

9 July 2014

On Sol 683 Curiosity drove across a ripple to see how the vehicle performs in the loose sand. Today we are planning Sol 684, which is a restricted sol (meaning we don’t have all of the data down from 683 in order to plan another drive), and it’s also a very constrained sol in terms of… Read More

Sol 683 Update On Curiosity From USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: Ripple Driving Test

8 July 2014

The imaging of the rover wheels went well last weekend, and we are ready to drive again on Sol 683. After taking a couple Mastcam mosaics of targets Tecopa and Billie, the rover will drive across one of the nearby ripples and take a lot of Hazcam and Navcam images to see how the vehicle… Read More

Remembering Gordon Swann: 1931 - 2014

7 July 2014

Gordon Swann served as the Principal Investigator of the Apollo Lunar Geologic Experiment for Apollo Missions 14 and 15. In this role, Gordon and his team provided real-time geologic support for the missions from the official Science Operation Room at Mission Control Center, Houston, TX. The team… Read More

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