Astrogeology Science Center

Sol 1057-1058: Getting Ready to Drill Buckskin

27 July 2015

The “bump” over the weekend was successful, so we are right where we want to be to attempt drilling at “Buckskin” in the “Lion” area. I was on duty as ChemCam sPUL (science payload uplink lead) today, and it was a fun day to be on duty. Sometimes it can be… Read More

Sol 1055-1056: Closing in on High-Silica Targets

24 July 2015

The main priority in today’s plan is to nudge the rover a bit closer to the target “Buckskin”, which is in the area where we have discovered rocks high in silica and hydrogen. But before we do that, ChemCam and Mastcam will observe the targets “Marent”,… Read More

Name Approved for Crater on Ceres: Kait

24 July 2015

The IAU Working Group for Planetary System Nomenclature has approved the name Kait for a small crater on Ceres. For more information, see the Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature.

Names Approved for Ten Features on Titan

22 July 2015

The IAU Working Group for Planetary System Nomenclature approved names for ten features on Titan: Aura Undae, Crveno Lacus, Gandalf Colles, Genetaska Macula, Moria Montes, Mystis, Tishtrya Virgae, Tlaloc Virgae, Tupile Labyrinthus, and Veliko Lacuna. For more information, see the Gazetteer of… Read More

Sols 1051-1054: Approaching "Lion"

22 July 2015

After driving just over 20 meters, the rover stopped 4.4 meters short of the Sol 1049 drive goal because the vehicle pitch exceeded the 15-degree limit set by the rover drivers.  So another 6.4-meter drive toward the bright outcrop of interest, dubbed "Lion," was planned for Sol… Read More

Sols 1048-1050: Test drill and drive

17 July 2015

 The Sol 1046 wheel imaging completed nominally, and the rover is a little over 1 meter from its previous location.  So the outcrop to the right of the vehicle is still close enough for ChemCam LIBS measurements, and I helped select new targets again today.  The Sol 1048 plan… Read More

Sols 1046-1047: Wheel imaging

15 July 2015

 The 8.5-meter Sol 1044 drive completed as planned, leaving the rover in a relatively flat and smooth area that is suitable for imaging of the wheels.  Wheel imaging is done periodically to assess wear, and it's time to acquire new data, so the Sol 1046 includes 5 sets of MAHLI,… Read More

First 17 Names Approved for Features on Ceres

13 July 2015

The IAU Working Group for Planetary System Nomenclature has approved names for 17 craters on Ceres: Asari, Coniraya, Gaue, Dantu, Ezinu, Fejokoo, Haulani, Kerwan, Nawish, Occator, Kirnis, Rongo, Sintana, Toharu, Urvara, Yalode, and Zadeni. For more information, see the Gazetteer of Planetary… Read More

Sol 1044-1045: Finishing the Drive

13 July 2015

The drive over the weekend stopped a bit early (~17 meters instead of the intended ~25 meters) because the software that the rover uses to monitor its drive progress was being extra cautious. The rover is fine, and in the sol 1044 plan we will keep driving. Before the drive, ChemCam has… Read More

Online Exhibit - 2015: The Year of the Dwarf Planets

10 July 2015

Just in Time for the July 14 New Horizons Spacecraft Flyby of Pluto: 2015: The Year of the Dwarf Planets Online Exhibit The NASA/USGS Regional Planetary Information Facility and USGS Astrogeology Science Center are proud to announce an online animated timeline celebrating our expanding knowledge… Read More