Astrogeology Science Center

Sol 487 Update On Curiosity From USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: Dump Pile

18 December 2013

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

Sol 485 Update On Curiosity From USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: Upgrade Complete

17 December 2013

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

Sol 476-477 Update On Curiosity From USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: Good Time for an Upgrade

6 December 2013

I'm uplink lead for the Opportunity Microscopic Imager and engineering cameras (Hazcams and Navcams) today, so have not been able to follow MSL planning as closely as usual. Operating two rovers on Mars at the same time is a good problem to have! The MSL weekend plan includes more MAHLI imaging… Read More

Sol 472-473 Update On Curiosity From USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: Watching the Wheels

3 December 2013

The drive planned for last weekend went well, so another drive is planned for Sol 472, along with targeted remote science and MAHLI imaging of the rover wheels. Such images of the wheels are now planned more frequently, to assess possible changes in the tears in the wheels. While the arm is… Read More

Sol 469-471 Update On Curiosity From USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: Tearing on Wheels

27 November 2013

There was some concern about tears in the rover wheels, but today we got the go-ahead to drive, with no restrictions on distance or drive mode. The tears in the wheels were expected based on testing, and the wheels are designed to survive such damage without affecting mobility. We are planning 3… Read More

Sol 466-468 Update On Curiosity From USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: Anniversary of Launch

26 November 2013

MSL launched from Florida two years ago today--I was pretty nervous that day, but the mission has obviously gone extremely well! Planning is restricted this week (results of the drive planned for Sol 465 will not arrive until tonight), so we are planning 3 sols of untargeted remote sensing to get… Read More

Sol 465: Update On Curiosity From USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: the RTG

25 November 2013

I'm SOWG Chair again today, planning Sol 465, which includes the first drive since the electrical issue over a week ago. The change in power bus voltage appears to have been caused by an electrical short in the Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator (RTG), the nuclear power source for the rover. … Read More

Sol 462-464 Update On Curiosity From USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: Planning Resumed

22 November 2013

MSL science planning has resumed! Today we are planning 3 sols, with the focus on dropping more of the drill sample into 4 of SAM's cups, for future analysis. While the arm is out, we'll take MAHLI images of the rover wheels and a Mastcam image of the sample seive, for engineering assessment. … Read More

Sol 461 Update On Curiosity From USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: Electrical Issue

20 November 2013

There will be no MSL science planning again today, as analysis of the recent electrical issue continues. We are hope to return to normal science operations on Friday, planning 3 sols for the weekend.

Sol 460 Update On Curiosity From USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: Stand Down

19 November 2013

I was scheduled as MAHLI/MARDI uplink lead today, but there was nothing to do because all science planning is on hold while the power issue is being investigated. Because planning is restricted this week, diagnostic data acquired today will not be available in time for planning tomorrow. If the… Read More