Astrogeology Science Center

Sols 1489-1490: 100 m of Mount Sharp!

12 October 2016

As of today, Curiosity has reached an elevation that is 100 m above the Confidence Hills site, where we first encountered the Murray formation.  That means that in the last 2 years we’ve climbed through 100 m of stratigraphy forming the base of Mount Sharp.  This is amazing… Read More

Sols 1487-1488: Cleaning CheMin

10 October 2016

While some of us enjoyed the Columbus Day holiday, MSL continued working on Mars.  The rover drove over 36 meters on Sol 1485, and another drive is planned for Sol 1487.  But first, ChemCam and Mastcam will observe vein and bedrock targets named "Palapye," "Tutume," "Shoshong," and… Read More

Sols 1484-1486: Dropping off samples to SAM

7 October 2016

The MSL rover made another 40 meters of progress up the flank of Mt. Sharp on Sol 1482, and there were multiple bedrock blocks within reach of the arm for the weekend plan.  A smooth patch on a nearby block was selected for DRT brushing and associated imaging, and named "Serowe."  The… Read More

Sols 1482-1483: Another touch and go

5 October 2016

MSL drove another 35 meters on Sol 1480, stopping at a location with a layered bedrock exposure right in front of the rover.  So the tactical planning team decided to take advantage of the touch and go option again.  MAHLI will take pictures of the layered target "Cassongue" and of… Read More

Sols 1480-1481: Touch and Go!

3 October 2016

MSL drove 12.5 meters on Sol 1478, to an area with lots of nodules in the bedrock.  The tactical planning team decided to exercise the "touch and go" option, so the arm will be deployed for contact science before driving away on Sol 1480.  The plan is packed with a variety of… Read More

Sols 1477-1479: Rocky Road

30 September 2016

Everything went well in our previous plan and we are making slow but steady progress over rough terrain toward our next drill location. We should get there by next weekend! Today’s plan starts off with a bunch of remote sensing on Sol 1477. Navcam has an atmospheric observation, followed by… Read More

Sols 1475-1476: Finishing up on Jwaneng

28 September 2016

We're planning two sols, so it's been busier for me today as SOWG Chair.  The science team had a lot of good ideas for new observations, so it was a challenge to fit them all into the plan, but in the end all went well.  On Sol 1475, the arm will be moved out of the way to allow… Read More

Sol 1474: Murray cross-bedding

27 September 2016

The 16-meter drive on Sol 1473 completed perfectly, placing the rover in position for contact science on an outcrop of cross-bedded Murray bedrock.  The primary goal for Sol 1474 is to characterize the cross-bedding and measure grain sizes using MAHLI, and we were able to squeeze in a… Read More

Sol 1473: In search of a contact science location

26 September 2016

Over the weekend Curiosity drove 43 m to the south, in search of a good place for contact science.  Unfortunately, our present location is in a small valley, and we don’t have many good rock targets in the workspace.  After evaluating the Mastcam drive direction imaging, we decided… Read More

Sol 1470-1472: Change of Plans

23 September 2016

Our drive went nicely and we are already about halfway to our next drill site! Our original plan to head toward an outcrop called “Karasburg” had to be changed because it turned out to be covered in sand and not very steep, making it a less-desirable science target. So instead we are… Read More