Astrogeology Science Center

Sols 1981-1983: Second sample acquisition attempt

2 March 2018

All of the data returned for the second drill target, called "Lake Orcadie 2," support the decision to attempt to acquire sample at that location using feed-extended drilling.  So the weekend plan is focused on drilling, which is planned for the second sol (1982).  But first, on Sol… Read More

Just published 'article' on the largest crater on dwarf planet, Ceres

2 March 2018

Dr. Mike Bland is a research space scientist, at the USGS Astrogeology Science Center,  who just published a paper with engaging information on Kerwan crater. Kerwan is located on Ceres, the dwarf planet that has been the subject of mass media coverage in the past two years. Scientists… Read More

Sol 1978: Examining drill tailings

27 February 2018

The tactical planning schedule was delayed by 2 hours today so that we would have the latest data from Sol 1977 available for planning.  When the data arrived, it quickly became clear that the feed-extended drilling did not complete as planned.  However, the new drilling technique… Read More

Sol 1968-1970: Dumping Ogunquit Beach sample

16 February 2018

We got lots of good news this morning:  The DRT brushing of the potential drill target completed successfully, as did SAM's recent analysis of the Ogunquit Beach sample, and the rover is healthy and ready for more!  So the weekend plan is focused on dumping the last of the Ogunquit… Read More

Newly Published Article Today on Dunes

15 February 2018

Excerpt: Dune-like structures appear in the depths of Earth’s oceans, across its landscapes, and in the extremities of the solar system beyond. Dunes rise up under the thick dense atmosphere of Venus, and they have been found under the almost unimaginably ephemeral atmosphere of a… Read More

Eating Together Boost Productivity?

13 February 2018

Astrogeology employees did not attend a ball or a parade for Mardis Gras, but together had a good lunch with a Mardis Gras theme. Besides sharing a good meal, they may have reaped a secondary benefit. According to a new Cornell University study, the team may see a boost in… Read More

Sol 1963: Getting ready for the SAM geochronology experiment

12 February 2018

Over the weekend Curiosity drove ~52 m to the northeast to another patch of gray bedrock.  The team is interested in characterizing the gray bedrock to determine if we might want to drill here.  But before we can think about drilling again, we need to wrap up our analyses of the cached… Read More

Geologists Tell All by Name

1 February 2018

Tenielle Gaither and Rosalyn Hayward are multi-talented geologists at the USGS Astrogeology Science Center who just released an informative and most interesting report on Planetary Nomenclature. Not only does the report capture the interworking of Planetary Nomenclature today, it reveals the… Read More

Sols 1952-1953: Another “touch and go”

31 January 2018

Along with many of my MSL colleagues, I’m attending our semi-annual science team meeting, enjoying the presentations and discussion of recent results and plans for the future.  Meanwhile, today’s tactical operations team is planning another “touch and go” for Sols 1952… Read More

Long Live the Queen MER Opportunity!

25 January 2018

Today, January 25, 2018, marks the 14th anniversary of Opportunity’s arrival on Mars, having traveled 283 million miles from Earth. In 2004, scientists landed the robot geologist in Meridiani Planum, an area suspected to have once inhabited water. Opportunity is now a senior-citizen, in… Read More