Astrogeology Science Center

Sol 458: Update On Curiosity From USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: Murray Buttes

18 November 2013

The plan for last weekend included driving on 2 sols. Unfortunately, the first drive, on Sol 455, was aborted due to a wheel stall. There was also an electrical problem, so the Sol 458 plan will be devoted to getting the engineering data needed to recover from this problem. The rover is in a… Read More

Sol 453: Update On Curiosity From USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: Deja Vu

14 November 2013

I was SOWG Chair again planning Sol 452, which was disappointing because it was basically a repeat of Sol 451. When the Sol 451 plan was run on the testbed, a potential problem was discovered and the decision was made at the last minute not to send it to the rover. The problem, which may have… Read More

Sol 451 Update On Curiosity From USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: Recovering

12 November 2013

I'm SOWG Chair today, but focused on tomorrow's plan because Sol 451 is dedicated to recovering from last week's software anomaly. So far, the recovery is going well and we are planning to resume normal science operations on Sol 452. We have received lots of data acquired during the Cooperstown… Read More

Update On Curiosity From USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: Flight Software Upgrades

7 November 2013

There are no science observations planned this week while the rover flight software is upgraded. This upgrade was planned well in advance, and if all goes well science and drive planning will resume on Monday.

Sol 441 - 443: Update On Curiosity From USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: Deploying the Arm

1 November 2013

Planning started at 6:30 this morning to allow enough time to plan 3 sols before we have to send the command sequences to the rover by 19:00 this evening. The science theme groups requested lots of good observations, expecting that they wouldn't all fit into the plan. It was therefore a hectic… Read More

Sol 440 Update On Curiosity From USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: Low Scarp

31 October 2013

The rover is very close to a low scarp that is the target for contact science this weekend. The Sol 440 plan includes a bunch of targeted ChemCam and Mastcam observations, followed by a short drive (or "bump") to the low scarp dubbed "Cooperstown." The planning schedule is tight, so we started at… Read More

Sol 438 Update On Curiosity From USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: Driving to Cooperstown

29 October 2013

Last weekend's 3-sol plan included back-to-back drives on Sols 436 and 437. This is the first time in the mission that this has been attempted. There was no tactical planning on Monday to allow Mars and Earth time to synch up, but the rover drivers reviewed the available data before giving their… Read More

Sol 432: Update On Curiosity From USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: Untargeted Remote Sensing

22 October 2013

MSL planning is still restricted, so we won't get confirmation of the drive planned for Sol 431 in time for planning Sol 432, which is therefore an untargeted-remote-sensing sol. The 432 plan also includes an overnight test of CheMin's ability to analyze sample while communicating with the MRO… Read More

Sol 428-430 Update On Curiosity From USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: Autumn on Mars

18 October 2013

I forgot to mention previously that, unlike at other NASA Centers, JPL employees work for Caltech, not NASA directly. So they were not as immediately affected by the government shutdown as NASA and USGS employees. Therefore, because many of the people responsible for operating the rovers are at… Read More

Update On Curiosity From USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: Active During Shutdown

17 October 2013

I apologize for the gap in these updates— the USGS web servers were turned off during the government shutdown. Thanks to support from the MSL Project Scientist and my supervisor, I was permitted to support MSL tactical operations during the shutdown. Unfortunately, I was not allowed to… Read More