Astrogeology Science Center

Naming a baby or planetary feature: which is easier?

16 June 2017

After debating over what to name the baby, you’d probably be happier to name a planetary surface feature, natural satellite, dwarf planet, or a planetary ring or two. It seems easier than the conundrums of figuring out what to name a child, particularly when it gets frustrating and everyone… Read More

Fifteen Lacus Names Approved for Titan

11 June 2017

The IAU Working Group for Planetary System Nomenclature has approved names for fifteen features on Titan: Mweru Lacus, Taupo Lacus, Prespa Lacus, Van Lacus, Ypoa Lacus, Suwa Lacus, Rukwa Lacus, Ihotry Lacus, Viedma Lacus, Phewa Lacus, Rannoch Lacus, Chilwa Lacus, Muzhwi Lacus, Maracaibo Lacus, and… Read More

The Grandest Canyon on Mars

9 June 2017

There has always been a fascination with canyons, their beauty, size, and history. Many people travel long distances to see and to explore these nature-made wonders. Mars’ magnificent Valles Marineris canyon, for example, would be a place we canyon lovers would pack up and go see --if… Read More

Sol 1721: An easier planning day

8 June 2017

MSL drove 26 meters on Sol 1720, as planned, to a location with blocks of bedrock in the arm workspace.  Because the rover climbed another 3 meters in elevation, contact science has top priority for today's plan, with driving next in priority.  One of our strategic goals is to… Read More

Names Approved for Three Features on Mars: Hiddekel, Icaria, and Phrixi Rupes

7 June 2017

The IAU Working Group for Planetary System Nomenclature has approved names for three features on Mars: Hiddekel Rupes, Icaria Rupes, and Phrixi Rupes. For more information, see Mars maps MC-12, MC-24, and MC-25 in the Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature.

Sol 1719: Wait and Hurry Up!

6 June 2017

Today was an interesting day of planning: because of an issue with the computer system responsible for processing data once it is received on Earth, Curiosity's images and other data from Sol 1718 didn't arrive until well into today's planning. That meant that we had to keep the plan simple and… Read More

Check out PBS trailer of The Farthest

5 June 2017

Check out this awesome PBS trailer of “The Farthest’.  You won’t want to miss it on August 23, 2017, when it's released. 'The Farthest' is a production of Crossing-The-Lines Films that chronicles the past and future of the Voyager mission. Larry Soderblom,… Read More

New Press Release: Wet environment once existed on early Mars

2 June 2017

“Among the many studies reporting water on Mars, this mapping effort stands out for its careful and detailed examination of a particularly interesting part of Mars,” said Laszlo Kestay, USGS Astrogeology Science Center Director. “The result is compelling evidence of how abundant… Read More

Sol 1714: Let’s try that again

1 June 2017

Unfortunately the Sol 1713 activities were not uplinked due to an issue at the DSN station, so today’s plan is focused on recovering the activities that were planned yesterday.  The good news is that we’ll be in the same location for the start of the weekend plan, so… Read More

TKO on Control Network Challenges

31 May 2017

The saying, “work smarter not harder,” is exactly what ISIS programmers have in mind for users when challenging the capabilities and limits of tools and technologies while writing the next best app.  Computer Scientist, Kris Becker, developed a feature-finding program… Read More