Astrogeology Science Center

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

Sols 1940-1942: Studying a bedrock transition

19 January 2018

The Sol 1939 drive went well, placing MSL next to the bright/dark transition seen at the right side of this image.  In order to better understand the textural and chemical changes across this transition, the tactical team planned ChemCam and Right Mastcam observations of targets "Mallaig"… Read More

Sols 1938-1939: It’s all about the details

17 January 2018

Today’s two-sol plan will wrap up activities at Vera Rubin Ridge location “e.”  When we assessed the downlink data this morning, we were excited to see that ChemCam did a great job with some very precise pointing in the previous plan.  At location “e” we have… Read More

New Press Release: Massive Ice Sheets Identified on Mars!

10 January 2018

USGS Scientist Colin Dundas’ research is mentioned in yet another national USGS press release. Three months ago he startled the scientific world with evidence that seasonal dark streaks on warm Martian slopes, called recurring slope lineae (RSL), are something other than salty water. Now Dr.… Read More

Sizzling New Evidence on Martian Streaks

20 December 2017

In this exciting press release, USGS scientist, Colin Dundas, provides evidence that seasonal dark streaks on warm Martian slopes, called recurring slope lineae (RSL), are something other than salty water, as scientists originally thought and hoped for. Colin is also the lead author in the Nature… Read More

Sols 1909-1910: Driving “home” for the holidays

18 December 2017

Today’s planning session kicked off with an important decision about where to drive and how that will set us up for exciting science over the holidays.  After much discussion, the team decided to return to some familiar yet intriguing rocks that we explored last week, visible in the… Read More