Astrogeology Science Center

PILOT / UPC Data Release March 2016: Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter - CTX

29 March 2016

The NASA/USGS PDS Imaging Node has added the following data to the Unified Planetary Coordinate (UPC) Database.  MISSION / INSTRUMENT: MARS RECONNAISSANCE ORBITER / CTX Release #36. Mapped Image: 914. Unmapped Images: 1. Please visit PILOT to access/download the new release. 

PILOT / UPC Data Release March 2016: Mars Odyssey - THEMIS VIS

31 March 2016

The NASA/USGS PDS Imaging Node has reprocessed the following data in the Unified Planetary Coordinate (UPC) Database. This was necessary because of a change in the archive path structure.MISSION / INSTRUMENT: Mars Odyssey / THEMIS VIS DATA RELEASES: 1- 53Mapped: 62,723 Unmapped:… Read More

Sols 1303-1304: Driving Again

4 April 2016

The Sol 1301 drive halted after only 4.5 meters of progress, apparently due to a short in the RTG that caused a steering actuator fault.  This type of fault has occurred before, so we are planning a drive toward the northwest on Sol 1303.  Before the drive, lots of remote sensing… Read More

Sols 1300-1302: Approaching the Edge of the Plateau

1 April 2016

Everything went well in Wednesday’s plan, and we are near the edge of the Naukluft plateau, driving across “Stimson” bedrock. The weekend plan begins on Sol 1300 with three ChemCam observations of the bedrock target “Bero” and fracture targets “Iona”,… Read More

Sols 1298-1299: Drive cut short

30 March 2016

The Sol 1296 drive was halted after only 4 meters of progress because the suspension on the left side of the rover was more tilted than expected.  Suspension checks are routinely included in drive sequences, to keep the vehicle safe, and MSL is indeed safe.  So the Sol 1298 plan… Read More

Sols 1296-1297: Driving Across Rough Terrain

28 March 2016

MSL drove about 17 meters on Sol 1294, continuing over rough terrain.  Some of the images that have been recently received show delicate features that have apparently been formed by windblown sand abrasion.  The path ahead is over more rough terrain, but it looks like we will be able… Read More

Sols 1293-1295: Contact science and driving

25 March 2016

On Sol 1292, Curiosity drove 6 m to the northwest, which put us in a good position for contact science over the weekend.  The three-sol plan starts with ChemCam and Mastcam observations of the targets “Gobabis” and “Zerrissene” to assess the composition of the local… Read More

Names Approved for Two Features on Ceres: Vendimia Planitia and Consus

28 March 2016

The IAU Working Group for Planetary System Nomenclature has approved names for two features on Ceres. Consus was approved for a crater in the southern hemisphere and Vendimia Planitia was approved for a large, low plain. For more information, see the map of Ceres in the Gazetteer of Planetary… Read More

Sol 1292: Gnarly terrain ahead

24 March 2016

Data was recovered from the missing MRO pass on Sol 1290, and we confirmed that the 23 m drive went well.  Today’s plan is to keep driving across the Naukluft Plateau.  The terrain looks pretty rough, so we’re plotting our course carefully.  Science activities in… Read More

Sol 1291: Another curveball

23 March 2016

Mars is certainly keeping us on our toes this week, and reminding us how challenging it can be to do remote operations on another planet.  We use two satellites in orbit around Mars to relay data: Mars Odyssey (ODY) and the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO).  On Sol 1290, the ODY pass… Read More