Astrogeology Science Center

Sol 2073: Another CheMin Analysis

5 June 2018

The focus of MSL operations continues to be on the analysis of the Duluth drill sample.  The latest SAM EGA was scheduled for the evening of Sol 2072, so the results of that analysis have not been received yet.  Both SAM and CheMin analyses require significant power, and can… Read More

Five Names Approved for Craters on Mars

1 June 2018

The IAU Working Group for Planetary System Nomenclature approved names for five craters on Mars: McCauley, Batson, Jori, Nako, and Salkhad. For more information, see Mars map MC-21 in the Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature.

Name Approved for Feature on Pluto: Hekla Cavus

30 May 2018

The IAU Working Group for Planetary System Nomenclature approved the name Hekla Cavus for a feature on Pluto. For more information, see the map of Pluto in the Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature.

Sols 2061-2062: Time to feed CheMin

23 May 2018

After successfully drilling the “Duluth” target on Sol 2057 (as seen in the above Mastcam image), the science team is eager to find out what it’s made of.  As SOWG Chair today, it was exciting to plan the drop-off of material to CheMin and overnight CheMin analysis. … Read More

Sol 2063-2066: Sample drop-off testing

25 May 2018

Some of the Duluth drill sample was dropped into CheMin on Sol 2061, but not enough for a proper mineralogical analysis. So the top priority for today's plan is to again test the new drop-off procedure. Since the drill feed mechanism became unreliable over a year ago, drill samples can no… Read More

Sols 2049-2051: Onward and northward

11 May 2018

Curiosity is currently investigating the Blunts Point member of the Murray formation, and searching for a suitable location to drill in the near future.  I was the SOWG Chair today, and we put together a busy weekend plan focused on wrapping up contact science at our current location and… Read More

Sol 2048: Successful Bump

10 May 2018

Today is the third and final day that I'm serving as SOWG Chair this week at JPL, and I was happy to see that the bump we originally planned for Sol 2046 completed successfully on Sol 2047, placing the rover in a good position for contact science on a couple of bright blocks in front of the… Read More

Create High Quality DTMs

8 May 2018

A digital terrain model (DTM) is a digital representation of the elevation of a planetary surface. Members of the Astrogeology Team produce DTMs of different bodies in the solar system to address questions about how landscapes formed or changed over time, and to identify safe landing sites for… Read More

InSight Mars Lander to Launch on May 5

4 May 2018

NASA’s InSight Mars Lander is scheduled to launch on May 5 from the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California and expected to land on Mars, Nov. 26, north of the Martian equator. In just five months, InSight, Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport, will… Read More

Names Approved for Three Faculae on Mercury

1 May 2018

The IAU Working Group for Planetary System Nomenclature approved names for three features on Mercury: Gata Facula, Nakahi Facula, and Amaru Facula. For more information, see Mercury map H-14 in the Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature.