Sol 2164: Science and Good Times at Rock Hall

19 December 2018

We are still very excited and happy that the final drill hole, “Rock Hall,” on Vera Rubin Ridge was successful over the weekend. Now we get to analyze the drilled sample with rover instruments. We are planning one sol today, and the big event will be delivering some of the Rock Hall… Read More

Mike and the Moon

12 December 2018

We had some friends visit while they were on vacation in northern Arizona over the Thanksgiving holiday this year. One night after dinner the topic of conversation drifted to my work with the USGS Astrogeology Science Center here in Flagstaff as an IT Specialist. They had seen Internet articles… Read More

Watching InSight for a Successful Landing

28 November 2018

On November 26,  the InSight Lander safely landed in the Elysium Planitia region of Mars. It is amazing how NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) has made landing on Mars look so easy. It is not. Years in the making, this joint American, French, and German collaboration, has the primary… Read More

My Journey to Geology and BEYOND

9 November 2018

My journey to geology started one class at a time. In my mid-twenties, with a full-time office job, life seemed sweet, except there was a void in my education that needed filling. I began taking classes, part-time, at Coconino Community College. I enrolled in each science course available, and… Read More

Sol 2223: Optimism for “Highfield”

6 November 2018

On Sol 2222, Curiosity drove ~10 m towards the “Lake Orcadie” location, in the hopes that we would be able to drill the gray Jura member here.  Today’s plan is focused on characterizing the target “Highfield,” the bright patch of outcrop shown in the middle… Read More

So long to NASA's Dawn spacecraft: mission ending today!

1 November 2018

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft, launched in September 2007, ended its long journey today.  After failed communications and subsequent analyses of the cause, scientists concluded Dawn ran out of hydrazine fuel. This comes as no surprise as  NASA announced in October 2017 that the… Read More

Astrogeology Awarded by ISPRS for Apollo Photogrammetry Paper

30 October 2018

  Researchers from USGS Astrogeology, along with colleagues from NASA Ames Research Center and Arizona State University (ASU) were recently awarded Best Interactive Presentation at the International Society of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ISPRS) symposium held at the Karlsruhe Institute… Read More

Sols 2213-2215: Eyes on the sky

26 October 2018

The focus of today’s three-sol plan is environmental monitoring.  I’ll be on duty as SOWG Chair on Monday, so I dialed in today to get up to speed.  The first sol kicks off with Mastcam tau, Navcam line of sight, and Navcam dust devil observations, to monitor the… Read More

Astrogeology Helps Choose Where to Land on Mars

24 October 2018

Where would you send NASA’s next Mars rover? That was the question that hundreds of scientists, including USGS Astrogeology’s Robin Fergason, Ken Herkenhoff, and Ryan Anderson set out to answer last week. The Mars 2020 rover represents the beginning of an ambitious plan to collect… Read More

NASA awaits Opportunity's call

19 October 2018

Mars Explorer Rover, Opportunity. Photo Credit: NASA/JPLThe Mars Exploration Rover vehicle Opportunity remains missing in action 124 Martian days after falling silent at the onset of a global dust storm in early June. The solar powered vehicle lost power as the windblown dust blocked sunlight from… Read More