Astrogeology Science Center

Sols 1136-1138: Drilling at “Greenhorn”

16 October 2015

  Unfortunately the Sol 1135 bundles were not uplinked due to a DSN issue, so the activities that we planned yesterday never made it onboard.  However, that meant that Curiosity spent the day resting and recharging in time for a lot of great science this weekend. Today’s 3-sol… Read More

Sol 1135: Sniffing the Martian air

15 October 2015

The Sol 1134 mini-start hole on “Pilgrim” went well, as seen in the above MAHLI image.  Side note: if that doesn’t look like a hole to you, try rotating the image (the hole is illuminated from the lower left, but the human eye generally prefers to see sunlight coming… Read More

Names Approved for 15 More Features on Ceres

15 October 2015

The IAU Working Group for Planetary System Nomenclature has approved names for 15 features on Ceres, including Niman Rupes, Gerber Catena, and names for 13 craters. For more information, see the Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature.

Name Approved for Crater on Mars: Bradbury

15 October 2015

The IAU Working Group for Planetary System Nomenclature has approved the name Bradbury for a crater on Mars. For more information, see the Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature.

Sol 1134: Mini-start hole at “Pilgrim”

14 October 2015

Curiosity is currently investigating an alteration zone around a fracture, and the plan today is focused on what we call a “mini-start hole.”  Before we do a full drill hole, we do a small test hole to make sure its safe.  The target “Pilgrim” was selected for… Read More

Name Approved for Crater on Mercury: Kerouac

13 October 2015

The IAU Working Group for Planetary System Nomenclature has approved the name Kerouac for a crater on Mercury. For more information, see the Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature.

Sol 1133: Dump and “Thwack”

13 October 2015

Sol 1133 activities are dominated by dumping the “Big Sky” sample and “thwacking” CHIMRA (the Collection and Handling for in-Situ Martian Rock Analysis) to clean out any remnants of the sample.  We have to do this in preparation for the next drill sample, which will… Read More

Sol 1132: Dumping Big Sky sample

12 October 2015

Columbus Day is a federal holiday, but I'm scheduled as SOWG Chair tomorrow so I'm following Sol 1132 tactical planning and discussions of our goals for Sol 1133.  The SAM analysis of the Big Sky drill sample went well and there is no need for another analysis, so the rest of the sample… Read More

Sols 1129-1131: Assessing “Greenhorn”

9 October 2015

Curiosity is currently investigating an alteration zone around a fracture.  After a successful drilling investigation at “Big Sky,” Curiosity is now ready to evaluate the alteration zone at “Greenhorn” for comparison. The weekend plan is a busy one.  The first sol… Read More

Sol 1128: Twenty Minutes to Mars

8 October 2015

I got up before dawn again today, and was treated to a beautiful view of the crescent Moon, Venus, Mars, and Jupiter in the eastern sky.  I hadn't seen Mars since it emerged from behind the Sun following solar conjunction last June (it was cloudy yesterday morning), and its dimness reminded… Read More