This week Curiosity has been driving towards the Bagnold Dunes and characterizing the bedrock and sand along the way. After a successful SAM methane experiment and 36.5 m drive on Sol 1168, Curiosity spent Sol 1169 recharging and assessing some of the local bedrock and dunes. The… Read More
The Bagnold Dunes are tantalizingly close, and this week is mostly focused on driving to the dunes. On Sol 1167 Curiosity drove 39 m, and the dunes are starting to look pretty big, as seen in the above Navcam image. For more on our plans when we get to the dunes, check out this… Read More
Unfortunately, our plans for the weekend were thwarted by a problem with the Deep Space Network that prevented the plans from being sent to the rover. As someone on the team pointed out in response to the issue, this just goes to show how many steps in the process have to go just right for us to be… Read More
The rover drove over 38 meters on Sol 1162, as expected. We are transitioning out of restricted planning, so only 2 sols are being planned for this weekend. There were so many good ideas for activities this morning that the team had to decide which to remove from the plan to leave… Read More
Today is a holiday for some of us, but not the MSL tactical operations team! The 55-meter drive planned for Sol 1160 completed as planned, and another 41-meter drive is planned for Sol 1162. Before the next drive, Mastcam and ChemCam will observe a small, sandy drift named "Arris" and a… Read More
The 68-meter drive planned for Sol 1158 completed as planned, placing the rover near a dark, circular feature named "Brandberg." The tactical operations team studied the images of Brandberg and discussed the value of contact science observations in this area, ultimately deciding to drive… Read More
Whew! It’s going to be a busy weekend on Mars! The Sol 1157 plan starts off with an activity to test out AEGIS, a software tool that will help with choosing targets for ChemCam and Mastcam. The AEGIS activity will take ChemCam images of two targets: “Ashley Lakes” and… Read More
The IAU Working Group for Planetary System Nomenclature has approved the name Xanthus Flumen for a channel on Titan. For more information, see the Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature.
Today’s planning was a bit challenging because we only got a few Navcam images down to show us possible science targets, which limited our choices for ChemCam observations. We are all looking forward to Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) waking up from the intentional “safe mode”… Read More
The IAU Working Group for Planetary System Nomenclature has approved names for three craters on Mercury: Burke, Sapkota, and Yamada. For more information, see the Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature.