Astrogeology Science Center

Sol 1183: Completing mobility tests

3 December 2015

Today we are planning the last sol of the mobility test, turning and backing out of the sand while taking multiple Hazcam images, then pausing to take Navcam and Mastcam images of the wheel tracks.  But first, Mastcam will take multispectral images of a rock named “Narabeb” and a… Read More

Sol 1182: Studying our Tracks

2 December 2015

Today’s plan is focused on studying the results of yesterday’s mobility test where we drove a little ways into a sand patch and then backed out, leaving trenches where the wheels were. Yes, we’re disturbing some of the very photogenic sand ripples that we have been seeing, but… Read More

PILOT / UPC Data Release November 2015: Mars Odyssey - THEMIS IR

15 November 2015

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_IR DATA RELEASES: 1- 53Mapped: 557,016 Unmapped:… Read More

Sol 1181: Mobility testing

1 December 2015

Due to problems at the Goldstone DSN complex, the bundle of command sequences generated for Sol 1180 could not be sent to MSL.  So the rover performed minimal activities on Sol 1180, as expected in “runout” mode.  The good news is that the rover’s batteries are charged… Read More

Sol 1180: Heater table update

30 November 2015

The MAHLI wheel imaging planned for Sol 1179 completed nominally, and the initial assessment showed no broken grousers.  The rover is now poised to begin testing mobility in the dark sand in front of the vehicle, but first a table used onboard to determine when heating is needed must be… Read More

Names Approved for Two Craters on Mars: Catota and Dunkassa

27 November 2015

The IAU Working Group for Planetary System Nomenclature has approved names for two craters on Mars: Catota and Dunkassa. For more information, see the Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature.

Sols 1177-1179: Recipe for a successful rover plan

25 November 2015

The 28 m drive on Sol 1174 ran successfully and Curiosity is now parked in front of a beautiful sand sheet and sand dune! Today science and engineering teams cooked up a full 3-sol plan, to account for the second half of the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.  The team started with equal parts… Read More

Sols 1174-1176: A feast of activities

24 November 2015

As many Americans are making plans for Thanksgiving, we’re making sure that Curiosity has plenty to do over the holiday weekend.  On Sol 1173, Curiosity drove 45 m to the south, which put us in a great position in front of a small sandsheet and the stoss side of a large… Read More

Sol 1173: Dune monitoring

23 November 2015

Over the weekend, Curiosity drove 51 m closer to the Bagnold Dunes.  I’m on duty as the Geology Science Theme Lead, and today we’re planning Sol 1173, which includes a short science block, a drive, post-drive imaging, and some untargeted science in the afternoon.  The main… Read More

Names Approved for Three Features on Mars: Coprates Mensa, Ius Mensa, and Melas Mensa

23 November 2015

The IAU Working Group for Planetary System Nomenclature has approved names for three mensae on Mars: Coprates Mensa, Ius Mensa, and Melas Mensa. For more information, see the Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature.