The IAU Working Group for Planetary System Nomenclature has approved names for 15 features on Ceres, including Niman Rupes, Gerber Catena, and names for 13 craters. For more information, see the Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature.
The Sol 1134 mini-start hole on “Pilgrim” went well, as seen in the above MAHLI image. Side note: if that doesn’t look like a hole to you, try rotating the image (the hole is illuminated from the lower left, but the human eye generally prefers to see sunlight coming… Read More
Curiosity is currently investigating an alteration zone around a fracture, and the plan today is focused on what we call a “mini-start hole.” Before we do a full drill hole, we do a small test hole to make sure its safe. The target “Pilgrim” was selected for… Read More
Sol 1133 activities are dominated by dumping the “Big Sky” sample and “thwacking” CHIMRA (the Collection and Handling for in-Situ Martian Rock Analysis) to clean out any remnants of the sample. We have to do this in preparation for the next drill sample, which will… Read More
The IAU Working Group for Planetary System Nomenclature has approved the name Kerouac for a crater on Mercury. For more information, see the Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature.
Columbus Day is a federal holiday, but I'm scheduled as SOWG Chair tomorrow so I'm following Sol 1132 tactical planning and discussions of our goals for Sol 1133. The SAM analysis of the Big Sky drill sample went well and there is no need for another analysis, so the rest of the sample… Read More
Curiosity is currently investigating an alteration zone around a fracture. After a successful drilling investigation at “Big Sky,” Curiosity is now ready to evaluate the alteration zone at “Greenhorn” for comparison. The weekend plan is a busy one. The first sol… Read More
I got up before dawn again today, and was treated to a beautiful view of the crescent Moon, Venus, Mars, and Jupiter in the eastern sky. I hadn't seen Mars since it emerged from behind the Sun following solar conjunction last June (it was cloudy yesterday morning), and its dimness reminded… Read More
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 #34. Mapped Images: 1,749. Unmapped Images: 1. Please visit PILOT to access/download the new release.
Planning is no longer restricted, but to ensure that Sol 1127 commands are ready to be sent to the rover on time, we had to start planning 1.5 hours earlier than usual this morning. The Sol 1126 images show that the APXS was well centered over the pre-sieve dump pile, so we are ready to… Read More