Astrogeology Science Center

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

Sol 1155-1156: Limited Downlink

4 November 2015

Today’s planning was a bit challenging because we only got a few Navcam images down to show us possible science targets, which limited our choices for ChemCam observations. We are all looking forward to Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) waking up from the intentional “safe mode”… Read More

Sol 1153-1154: Driving Around East Glacier

2 November 2015

The short drive over the weekend went well, putting us in a good position for a longer drive in today’s plan. Before we drive, ChemCam will analyze the targets “Tampico”, “LaValle”, and “Muddy” to determine if their apparent variations in brightness in the… Read More

Sols 1148-1152: Driving and Contact Science

30 October 2015

Apologies for the lack of an update on Wednesday this week! Lauren and I were both in a training class, and Ken was traveling so none of us were able to post here. That means that today’s post covers five sols of planning! The sol 1148 plan started off with a Mastcam observation of the… Read More

Sol 1146-1147: A View of Meeteetse

26 October 2015

The weekend drive was successful, placing us nicely on an overlook of the “Meeteetse” area. The focus for Sol 1146 is to get some good color stereo images of the whole area, including “Big Sky,” “Greenhorn,” and “Meeteetse”. Mastcam will take a 16x3… Read More

Sols 1143-1145: Last observations at Greenhorn and driving away

23 October 2015

After a successful investigation focused on alteration zones around fractures, it’s time to move on.  We’re still chewing on data from the “Greenhorn” and “Big Sky” drill samples, but we can wrap up a few last observations in this area and drive away in… Read More

Sol 1142: Nighttime imaging

22 October 2015

The Sol 1141 activities completed as expected, and the rover's batteries are charged up enough to allow both daytime and nighttime activities in today's plan.  First, the unsieved part of the Greenhorn drill sample will be dumped onto the ground and Mastcam and MAHLI will take pictures… Read More

Sol 1141: Recharging batteries

21 October 2015

There was a problem processing the latest data from MSL at the Deep Space Network station that received it, but the data are now available and confirm that the Sol 1140 activities completed successfully.  As expected, the batteries need to be recharged after the SAM methane experiment,… Read More