Astrogeology Science Center

Sols 1647-1649: Approaching the dune edge

24 March 2017

The traction control test went well, and MSL drove over 30 meters on Sol 1646.  The rover will be busy this weekend with lots of remote sensing, arm work, and a drive onto the edge of the dune.  On Sol 1647, Left Mastcam will take a 360-degree panorama and Right Mastcam will acquire… Read More

Sol 1646: Traction control driving

23 March 2017

MSL drove a little over 20 meters on Sol 1645, toward the big sand dune to the east that is the subject of a science campaign that will hopefully start next week.  Another drive toward the east is planned for Sol 1646, with post-drive imaging to set up for contact science.  The… Read More

Sol 1645: Searching for dust devils

22 March 2017

The APXS will still be deployed on The Hop early on Sol 1645, and to avoid using battery power to heat up the arm, we'll wait until early afternoon to move it out of the way.  So we had to pick ChemCam and Right Mastcam targets that would not be obscured by the arm:  A bright vein… Read More

Sol 1640-1642: Better Late than Never!

21 March 2017

Sorry for the delayed posting! In the rush to get ready for the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference (LPSC), I forgot to post about the sol 1640-42 plan. Better late than never! The weekend plan started with some Navcam atmospheric observations, followed by ChemCam on the bedrock target… Read More

Name Approved for Feature on Mercury: Heaney

21 March 2017

The IAU Working Group for Planetary System Nomenclature has approved the name Heaney for a crater on Mercury. For more information, see Mercury map H-13 in the Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature.

Sol 1644: Staying put

21 March 2017

The Sol 1644 plan focuses on arm activities, because the volume of data expected to be relayed via the MRO and Mars Odyssey orbiters in time for planning tomorrow is too small to allow both a drive and drill diagnostic tests.  So the tactical science team took advantage of the… Read More

Sol 1643: First half of long-baseline stereo

20 March 2017

MSL drove about 28 meters toward the south on Sol 1642 and again is in an area with Murray Formation bedrock blocks surrounded by dark sand.  I helped plan ChemCam observations today, and we settled on a target called "Vinalhaven" at the left side of the layered bedrock exposure seen at… Read More

Name Approved for Feature on Mars: Tarq

17 March 2017

The IAU Working Group for Planetary System Nomenclature has approved the name Tarq for a crater on Mars. For more information, see the map of MC-29 in the Gazetteer for Planetary Nomenclature.

Sol 1639: Onward to Ogunquit Beach

16 March 2017

Planning was challenging this morning because of some network issues at JPL, but the team figured out how to work around the problem and still managed to put together a good plan! We’ve been at Stop 3 of the dune campaign (now known as “Southern Cove”) for a couple of sols, so in… Read More

Names, Theme, and Boundary Change Approved for Mercury

15 March 2017

The IAU Working Group for Planetary System Nomenclature has approved an expanded boundary for Borealis Planitia, and the following new names for use on Mercury: Turms Planitia, Otaared Planitia, Apārangi Planitia, Sihtu Planitia, Papsukkal Planitia, Catuilla Planum, Stilbon Planitia, Mearcair… Read More