Astrogeology Science Center

Sol 1678: A smooth planning day

25 April 2017

MSL drove another 33 meters on Sol 1677, and again is surrounded by rocky outcrops partly covered by dark sand.  Although Rover Planner support was available for "touch and go" contact science, the GEO science theme group decided that the limited reachable outcrop did not warrant contact… Read More

Change in MSL blogging

24 April 2017

Several non-USGS scientists on the MSL operations team have volunteered to start writing blogs, so JPL is now posting all MSL blogs at their site, e.g., monitor the above site for… Read More

Sol 1671: More Rocks Out the Front Window

17 April 2017

Today I covered the ChemCam Payload Element Lead (PEL) role for this first Monday after Easter. Normally the ChemCam team starts Mondays with a telephone tag-up as we hand over operations between the French and US portions of the team. We alternate doing ChemCam operations from week to… Read More

Sols 1668-1670: Diving into (analysis of) Moosehead Lake

14 April 2017

Our latest drive put us in position in front of the interesting “Moosehead Lake” outcrop with lots of veins and grey patches: plenty to keep Curiosity busy over the weekend! The Sol 1668 plan starts off with a nice long science block. ChemCam has observations of targets “Sheldrake… Read More

Sols 1666-1667: Moosehead Lake

12 April 2017

The Sol 1664 drive was halted after the rover had driven less than 2 meters because the angle of the left bogie slightly exceeded the suspension limit. Such limits are routinely set based on the results of detailed modeling of the vehicle's response to the terrain, so that unexpected conditions… Read More

Sols 1664-1665: Keep on driving

10 April 2017

MSL drove about 24 meters on Sol 1662, and another drive is planned for Sol 1664.  Before the drive, lots of targeted remote sensing is planned:  ChemCam and Right Mastcam will observe a bright rock named "Peaks Island," an exposure of bedding dubbed "Great Wass Island," a sand… Read More

Sols 1661-1663: DAN has been busy

8 April 2017

Our drive away from the “Ogunquit Beach” sand dune location went well, taking us about 35 meters to the southwest and putting us in a good location to continue measuring the composition of the bedrock as we drive up Mt. Sharp. The Sol 1661 plan starts out with a Mastcam mosaic of… Read More

Sols 1659-1660: Time to hit the road again

5 April 2017

Curiosity has been carrying out a great investigation at Ogunquit Beach, but we’re still working out some issues related to the drill feed, so the decision was made to drive away in today’s plan.  We’re driving away with a cache full of sand, so we can still deliver to CheMin… Read More

Sols 1657-1658: April Fool's Day, or Groundhog's Day?

4 April 2017

 Over the weekend there was a problem with the Deep Space Network that we rely on to transmit commands to Curiosity, so the rover didn’t receive its instructions and instead went into “runout” mode, where it patiently waits for commands and does some basic environmental… Read More

Names Approved for Two Features on Mars: Kankossa and Bam

3 April 2017

The IAU Working Group for Planetary System Nomenclature has approved names for two craters on Mars, Kankossa and Bam. For more information, see Mars maps MC-18 and MC-22 in the Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature.