Astrogeology Science Center

Sol 1135: Sniffing the Martian air

15 October 2015

The Sol 1134 mini-start hole on “Pilgrim” went well, as seen in the above MAHLI image.  Side note: if that doesn’t look like a hole to you, try rotating the image (the hole is illuminated from the lower left, but the human eye generally prefers to see sunlight coming… Read More

Sol 1134: Mini-start hole at “Pilgrim”

14 October 2015

Curiosity is currently investigating an alteration zone around a fracture, and the plan today is focused on what we call a “mini-start hole.”  Before we do a full drill hole, we do a small test hole to make sure its safe.  The target “Pilgrim” was selected for… Read More

Sol 1133: Dump and “Thwack”

13 October 2015

Sol 1133 activities are dominated by dumping the “Big Sky” sample and “thwacking” CHIMRA (the Collection and Handling for in-Situ Martian Rock Analysis) to clean out any remnants of the sample.  We have to do this in preparation for the next drill sample, which will… Read More

Sol 1132: Dumping Big Sky sample

12 October 2015

Columbus Day is a federal holiday, but I'm scheduled as SOWG Chair tomorrow so I'm following Sol 1132 tactical planning and discussions of our goals for Sol 1133.  The SAM analysis of the Big Sky drill sample went well and there is no need for another analysis, so the rest of the sample… Read More

Sols 1129-1131: Assessing “Greenhorn”

9 October 2015

Curiosity is currently investigating an alteration zone around a fracture.  After a successful drilling investigation at “Big Sky,” Curiosity is now ready to evaluate the alteration zone at “Greenhorn” for comparison. The weekend plan is a busy one.  The first sol… Read More

Sol 1128: Twenty Minutes to Mars

8 October 2015

I got up before dawn again today, and was treated to a beautiful view of the crescent Moon, Venus, Mars, and Jupiter in the eastern sky.  I hadn't seen Mars since it emerged from behind the Sun following solar conjunction last June (it was cloudy yesterday morning), and its dimness reminded… Read More

Sol 1127: Full MAHLI wheel imaging and bump

7 October 2015

Planning is no longer restricted, but to ensure that Sol 1127 commands are ready to be sent to the rover on time, we had to start planning 1.5 hours earlier than usual this morning.  The Sol 1126 images show that the APXS was well centered over the pre-sieve dump pile, so we are ready to… Read More

Sol 1126: MAHLI selfie

5 October 2015

MSL did well last weekend, but the Sol 1124 MAHLI images of the unsieved part of the drill sample showed that the APXS was not perfectly centered on the dump pile.  Therefore, the Sol 1126 plan includes new MAHLI images and APXS measurements, better centered on the dump pile.  Before… Read More

Sols 1123-1125: Drill hole and tailings

2 October 2015

The weekend plan includes lots of arm activities and science.  First, on Sol 1123, ChemCam and Mastcam will observe the drill hole and tailings, plus targets named "Frontier," "Floweree," "Bozeman," and "Billings."  Then the portion of the sample that has not been sieved will be… Read More

Sol 1121-1122: Successful Drill at Big Sky

30 September 2015

Success! Our drill at “Big Sky” went perfectly! On Sol 1121, the rover will transfer some of the powder from Big Sky to CheMin so that it can begin analyzing the mineralogy of the sample. Also on Sol 1121, ChemCam has an observation of the target “Minnekahta”. Mastcam will… Read More