I'm SOWG Chair again today, planning Sol 513, which will be dominated by a full set of MAHLI images of wheels. The images will be taken between short drives, to turn the wheels a bit and allow the entire surfaces of the wheels to be imaged. This will require a fair amount of power, so the main… Read More
A new video, documenting the history of the USGS Astrogeology Science Center, has been posted. The film was created by Kent Wagner and titled, Astrogeology 1963-2013: Fifty Years of Exploration. Check it out!
The weekend activities executed as planned, and the rover is in a good location to start a full campaign of wheel imaging. Originally, a short drive or "bump" was planned for Sol 512 to get the rover in position for wheel imaging. Because this bump was not needed, more time was available for… Read More
The CheMin data processing planned for Sol 505 was deleted from the plan, but SAM made another measurement of the atmosphere that night. The Sol 504 drive went well, and the rover is in a stable position, so a "touch and go" is planned for Sol 506. First, MAHLI images and APXS data will be… Read More
The MSL tactical operations team is fully re-engaged after the holiday break, planning a bunch of activities to keep the rover busy this weekend. Sol 503 starts with remote sensing observations, followed by MAHLI and APXS measurements of a couple of targets in front of the rover. Sol 504 is… Read More
The MSL rover completed the relatively light set of activities planned for the recent holiday, and is now ready to resume full science operations. The Sol 502 plan includes lots of ChemCam and Mastcam observations, plus some RMI images of the right-side wheels. During the holiday break from… Read More
The 3-sol weekend plan starts with targeted remote science (ChemCam and Mastcam observations), then completion of the thorough wheel imaging campaign. MAHLI and Mastcam images of the wheels are planned to document wear, and MARDI images of the terrain near the left front wheel will also be… Read More
The Sol 488 plan includes ChemCam and Mastcam observations of the Cumberland drill sample that was dumped in front of the rover, completing the campaign on the dump pile. Then MAHLI will be used to image the rover's wheels, to more completely assess any damage.
I'm on my way home from the ChemCam team meeting, so again not involved in MSL tactical operations, but saw that the Sol 487 plan includes dumping the last of the Cumberland drill sample and MAHLI imaging of the dump pile. The sample handling system (CHIMRA) will be cleaned out after holding the… Read More
Last week's flight software upgrade went well, so the Sol 485 plan includes science activities. Specifically, MAHLI images and an APXS integration of a target in front of the rover are intended to characterize the area where the remaining Cumberland drill sample will be dumped. I'm currently at a… Read More