Astrogeology Science Center

Sol 630 Update On Curiosity From USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: End of The Kimberley Campaign

14 May 2014

Apologies for not blogging more frequently--my personal life has become more exciting and I'm going to have to take a break from this blog, at least for the next few months. So this will be my last blog for a while. MSL is completing the intensive investigation of The Kimberley, having… Read More

Sol 620 Update On Curiosity From USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: Drill Hole Completed

6 May 2014

I was SOWG Chair early last week, when we planned the mini drill hole. This complex operation required many hours for the tactical team to plan and review, so I was pretty exhausted when we were done. I've also had a lot of other business and personal work to do, so it's been difficult for me to… Read More

The 2014 Annual Planetary Geologic Mappers Meeting

28 April 2014

Registration is now open for the 2014 Annual Planetary Geologic Mappers Meeting. Attendance by current NASA geologic mapping project PI’s is required, and other scientists and students interested in cartography, geologic mapping, and map related topical science are welcome! For more… Read More

Sol 611 Update On Curiosity From USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: Selfie

25 April 2014

The data returned from Sol 610 showed that the rover is stable, so the weekend plan includes lots of arm activities. On Sol 612, APXS and MAHLI will study the planned drill target before the Dust Removal Tool (DRT) brushes it off. Then MAHLI will image the brushed area before the APXS is placed… Read More

Sol 611 Update On Curiosity From USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: Checking Stability

24 April 2014

The rover bump went well, and the selected drill target is within reach. So the science team started planning various observations of the target, including MAHLI and APXS, to document its chemical composition and morphology before drilling. However, there were enough concerns about the rover… Read More

Sol 610 Update On Curiosity From USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: Western Sky

23 April 2014

The Sol 610 plan contains fairly simple, untargeted observations, including Mastcam and Navcam mosaics and a series of Navcam images of the western sky right after the sun sets behind Mt. Remarkable. Overnight, ChemCam will point at the dark sky and obtain calibration data, measuring thermal… Read More

Sol 608 - 609 Update On Curiosity From USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: Waiting on Post-Drive Data

22 April 2014

Sol 608 Planning: The drive and other activities planned for last weekend went well, and lots of nice images of the outcrop in front of the rover were received early Monday morning. While the strategic rover planners analyzed the data and began evaluating various candidate drill targets, the… Read More

Sol 605 - 607 Update On Curiosity From USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: Windblown Soil

21 April 2014

I was scheduled as MAHLI/MARDI uplink lead last Friday, so I stayed an extra day in Pasadena after the MSL team meeting and worked at JPL. It's always easier to work on tactical operations at JPL, and Friday was no exception as we planned contact science on the windblown soil in front of the… Read More

Sol 604 Update On Curiosity From USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: Test Results from the Mars Yard

18 April 2014

Thursday was the last day of the MSL science team meeting, and the discussion shifted from science results to analysis of wheel wear, both on Mars and on Earth. The engineers at JPL have done a lot of testing in the Mars Yard and compared the results with the many images of the wheels on Mars. … Read More

Sol 603 Update On Curiosity From USGS Scientist Ken Herkenhoff: Seeking a Drill Site

17 April 2014

While most of the MSL science team met at Caltech to discuss recent results and plans for the near future, the tactical team planned a 65-meter drive toward the southeastern side of Mount Remarkable, near the site chosen for the next drilling campaign. The rover will pause in the middle of the… Read More