Astrogeology Science Center

Sol 1105: Murray Formation Contact Science

14 September 2015

Over the weekend, Curiosity had a successful ~ 21 m drive, and we’re currently parked in front of a beautiful outcrop of the Murray formation (shown in the bottom half of the above Navcam image, overlain by Stimson).  We’ve mostly been driving through the Stimson unit for the… Read More

Sols 1102-1104: Arm error recovery

11 September 2015

The Sol 1101 activities that we planned yesterday did not complete due to an arm error while it was being stowed.  Apparently the shoulder azimuth motor was too cold, so the rover software halted the stow, which precluded the drive that was to follow.  The rover is therefore in the same… Read More

Sol 1101: Driving into the Saddle

10 September 2015

The 34-meter drive planned for Sol 1100 placed the rover at the edge of the small plateau, as intended, with a good view of a bright Murray Formation outcrop.  The center of the Murray outcrop is the target of the drive planned for Sol 1101, which will hopefully put the vehicle in… Read More

Sol 1100: Swan, Sunburst, Studhorse, Sweetgrass Arch, and Silver Hill

9 September 2015

The rover drove 34.5 meters on Sol 1099, as planned, to a good location for the imaging of the northwest wall of Bridger Basin.  The Mastcam team verified that the pointing of the mosaic of that wall, planned to occur early on Sol 1100, is excellent.  So the Sol 1100 plan includes… Read More

Sol 1099: Driving again

8 September 2015

MSL did well over the long weekend, except that the Sol 1098 drive was halted after 13 meters of the planned 25 meters because the rover could not confirm that the path ahead was safe.  So the plan for the Sol 1099 drive is essentially to complete the rest of the previously planned… Read More

Sol 1094: Turning in to Bridger Basin

3 September 2015

The drive on Sol 1093 went well, and Curiosity drove ~15 m towards Bridger Basin.  In the Sol 1094 plan, we’ll drive for ~30 m to round the turn into the basin, as we continue making our way through the Stimson unit.  These rocks exhibit a lot of beautiful cross-bedding, as seen in… Read More

USGS Scientist Chris Edwards, Solving the Mysteries of Mars’ Atmosphere

3 September 2015

USGS scientist, Chris Edwards, is working to solve the mystery of the disappearance of the Martian atmosphere. From the USGS press release: The modern Martian atmosphere is too thin for liquid water to persist on the surface. A denser atmosphere on ancient Mars could have kept water from… Read More

Sol 1093: Leaving the Williams area

2 September 2015

After successful contact science on the Stimson unit in the Williams area, it’s time to get back on the road.  In today’s plan we’ll finish up a few activities at the Williams area, and then continue on our drive towards Bridger Basin and eventually the Bagnold… Read More

Sol 1092: Stimson Contact Science

1 September 2015

Curiosity is currently investigating an outcrop of the Stimson unit.  On Sol 1091, Curiosity acquired some low-resolution MAHLI images of the targets “Pentagon,” “Lebo,” “Ivanhoe,” and “Ledger” in order to plan more detailed imaging of those… Read More

Sol 1091: Lots of MAHLI targets

31 August 2015

Planning is no longer restricted, but we had to start at 6:00 PDT this morning to give the operations team enough time to uplink commands by the time the rover expects them.  Driving to work before sunrise reminded me of the sometimes odd times we had to wake up during the first 90 sols… Read More