Astrogeology Science Center

Sols 1177-1179: Recipe for a successful rover plan

25 November 2015

The 28 m drive on Sol 1174 ran successfully and Curiosity is now parked in front of a beautiful sand sheet and sand dune! Today science and engineering teams cooked up a full 3-sol plan, to account for the second half of the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.  The team started with equal parts… Read More

Sols 1174-1176: A feast of activities

24 November 2015

As many Americans are making plans for Thanksgiving, we’re making sure that Curiosity has plenty to do over the holiday weekend.  On Sol 1173, Curiosity drove 45 m to the south, which put us in a great position in front of a small sandsheet and the stoss side of a large… Read More

Sol 1173: Dune monitoring

23 November 2015

Over the weekend, Curiosity drove 51 m closer to the Bagnold Dunes.  I’m on duty as the Geology Science Theme Lead, and today we’re planning Sol 1173, which includes a short science block, a drive, post-drive imaging, and some untargeted science in the afternoon.  The main… Read More

Sols 1170-1172: Studying bedrock, sand, and sky

20 November 2015

  This week Curiosity has been driving towards the Bagnold Dunes and characterizing the bedrock and sand along the way.  After a successful SAM methane experiment and 36.5 m drive on Sol 1168, Curiosity spent Sol 1169 recharging and assessing some of the local bedrock and dunes. The… Read More

Sols 1167-1168: Onward to the Bagnold Dunes

18 November 2015

The Bagnold Dunes are tantalizingly close, and this week is mostly focused on driving to the dunes.  On Sol 1167 Curiosity drove 39 m, and the dunes are starting to look pretty big, as seen in the above Navcam image.  For more on our plans when we get to the dunes, check out this… Read More

Sol 1166: Uplink Problems

16 November 2015

Unfortunately, our plans for the weekend were thwarted by a problem with the Deep Space Network that prevented the plans from being sent to the rover. As someone on the team pointed out in response to the issue, this just goes to show how many steps in the process have to go just right for us to be… Read More

Sols 1164-1165: Brushing "Swartkloofberg"

13 November 2015

The rover drove over 38 meters on Sol 1162, as expected.  We are transitioning out of restricted planning, so only 2 sols are being planned for this weekend.  There were so many good ideas for activities this morning that the team had to decide which to remove from the plan to leave… Read More

Sols 1162-1163: Approaching Bagnold Dunes

11 November 2015

Today is a holiday for some of us, but not the MSL tactical operations team!  The 55-meter drive planned for Sol 1160 completed as planned, and another 41-meter drive is planned for Sol 1162.  Before the next drive, Mastcam and ChemCam will observe a small, sandy drift named "Arris" and a… Read More

Sols 1160-1161: Brandberg

9 November 2015

The 68-meter drive planned for Sol 1158 completed as planned, placing the rover near a dark, circular feature named "Brandberg."  The tactical operations team studied the images of Brandberg and discussed the value of contact science observations in this area, ultimately deciding to drive… Read More

Sol 1157-1159: A Busy Weekend on Mars

6 November 2015

Whew! It’s going to be a busy weekend on Mars! The Sol 1157 plan starts off with an activity to test out AEGIS, a software tool that will help with choosing targets for ChemCam and Mastcam. The AEGIS activity will take ChemCam images of two targets: “Ashley Lakes” and… Read More