Astrogeology Science Center

Sol 985: High Tilt

14 May 2015

Once again, excessive wheel slippage prevented MSL from driving as far as planned, so the tactical team decided to take a break from driving to allow various options to be studied in more detail.  The rover is tilted 21 degrees, the highest tilt of the mission so far, on the flank of a… Read More

Sol 984: Slippery sand

13 May 2015

 The MSL tactical team took a day off yesterday to allow Earth and Mars time to synch up; planning is no longer restricted and we will be working every day the rest of this week (including Saturday).  Despite efforts to avoid sandy areas, the Sol 983 drive stopped short when the… Read More

Sol 983: More sand traps

11 May 2015

The Sol 981 drive got the rover around the troublesome ripples and to the desired location, which gave us a good view of the terrain ahead.  Unfortunately, the images taken from the new location show more sandy ripples between the rover and the sharp transition between bright… Read More

Agenda for the 2nd Planetary Data Workshop

11 May 2015

The agenda and abstracts for the 2nd Planetary Data Workshop have been posted at LPI. The last day for early registration is this WEDNESDAY, May 13 2015. http://www.hou.usra.edu/meetings/planetdata2015/On the heals of the excellent ESA GIS Workshop, the 2nd Data Workshop is quickly shaping up to be… Read More

I C Ceres Celebration!

9 May 2015

After more than seven years cruising at stunning speeds, Dawn has arrived at the dwarf planet Ceres. As the Dawn mission begins its exploration, it's time to celebrate!Join us at the USGS Astrogeology Science Center, 2255 N. Gemini Dr., Building 3 Conference Room, Saturday, May 9, 2015, 12:00… Read More

Sols 980-982: Dodging Sand, Updating ChemCam

8 May 2015

The Sol 978 drive stopped after going only a couple meters instead of the expected ~19 meters because Curiosity detected that its wheels were slipping in the sand. The rover periodically takes pictures of its surroundings while driving to make sure that it is actually moving forward and its wheels… Read More

Sol 978-979: Jocko Chute

6 May 2015

The sol 976 drive was successful and we are close to “Jocko Chute” (our informal name for the saddle point west of Jocko Butte). In the sol 978 plan, we have a ChemCam LIBS observation of a patch of exposed bedrock called “Big Salmon”, followed by lots of Mastcam images.… Read More

Sols 976-977: Onward to Jocko Butte

4 May 2015

With our weekend contact science done, it’s time to hit the road again. The sol 976 plan includes some final Mastcam mosaics of the interesting outcrops that we have been studying, plus a Mastcam multispectral observation of the target “Albert” that ChemCam zapped over the… Read More

Name Approved for a Crater on the Moon: Slater

4 May 2015

The IAU Working Group for Planetary System Nomenclature has approved the name Slater for a crater on the Moon. For more information, see the Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature.

Sols 973-975: Albert, Bigfork, and Charity

1 May 2015

  MSL is in a good position for contact science observations on an interesting outcrop of sedimentary rock, so the rover will be busy this weekend!  We had to change the timing of the arm activities a bit to optimize the illumination of MAHLI targets, so it was a busy morning for me… Read More