Astrogeology Science Center

Sols 1221-1222: Back on track

11 January 2016

MSL has recovered from the motor controller anomaly, so tactical operations are back on track, with a drive to the dune sampling area planned for Sol 1221.  I helped the ChemCam team select targets for LIBS and RMI observations today.  Before the drive, ChemCam will observe a target… Read More

Sols 1218-1220: Change in plans

8 January 2016

We came in this morning curious to see how the Sol 1217 bump and scuff went, but unfortunately there was an anomaly that prevented any use of motors during the plan.  No motors meant no drive and no scuff, and most of our planned activities did not occur.  So today turned into a recovery… Read More

Sol 1217: Where to sample?

7 January 2016

On Sol 1216 Curiosity drove 43 m toward the Namib Dune sampling location.  That meant that today we had to decide on our final sampling spot, and there were many different factors to consider.  I was the GSTL today, and it was a busy morning trying to figure out our top science… Read More

Sol 1216: Looking forward to sampling and scuffing

6 January 2016

On Sol 1215, Curiosity drove 67 m toward the Namib Dune sampling location.  The desired location is visible in the middle of the above Navcam image.  Today’s plan includes another drive to get into position for sampling and “scuffing” (using a rover wheel to dig a… Read More

Sol 1215: Driving to a sampling location

5 January 2016

After wrapping up our holiday investigation on the lee side of Namib Dune, it’s time to move to a new location along the dune to sample the chemistry and mineralogy of the sand.  On Sol 1214 we checked out our wheels (see the MAHLI wheel image above, with Namib Dune and Mt. Sharp in the… Read More

Sol 1214: Catching up after the holidays

4 January 2016

While the science team took a break from operations over the holidays, we sent up plenty of commands to keep Curiosity busy over Sols 1205-1213.  Curiosity acquired a number of change detection and environmental monitoring observations over the holidays, and we’re just starting to assess… Read More

Nine Names Approved for Features on Titan

28 December 2015

The IAU Working Group for Planetary System Nomenclature has approved names for nine features on Titan: Tsomgo Lacus, Kayangan Lacus, Shoji Lacus, Romo Planitia, Rossak Planitia, Hagal Planitia, Saraswati Flumen, Karesos Flumen, and Hubur Flumen. For more information, see the Titan South Pole Map in… Read More

Sol 1202-1213: Holidays on Earth, Busy Days on Mars

23 December 2015

Today’s plan is a four sol Holiday plan covering Sol 1202-1205, and it will be followed by some pre-planned activities to take us all the way until Sol 1214 and the new year here on Earth, so there’s a lot to talk about! On Sol 1202, we will first repeat the ChemCam RMI and Mastcam… Read More

Sol 1201-1202: Arm Diagnostics

22 December 2015

Based on the latest images from Navcam, Hazcam, and Mastcam it looks like at least some of the “Greenhorn” sample was dumped before the arm ran into difficulties.The plan for sol 1201 has a lot of diagnostics to help our engineers to better understand what happened with the arm. It is… Read More

Sol 1200-1201: The Best Laid Plans

21 December 2015

Unfortunately, over the weekend there was an issue with the rover’s arm while the “Greenhorn” sample was being dumped, which caused the rover to stop what it was doing. Because the arm ended up in an unexpected position, it prevented the APXS and MAHLI observations from occurring… Read More