Astrogeology Science Center

Sol 1099: Driving again

8 September 2015

MSL did well over the long weekend, except that the Sol 1098 drive was halted after 13 meters of the planned 25 meters because the rover could not confirm that the path ahead was safe.  So the plan for the Sol 1099 drive is essentially to complete the rest of the previously planned… Read More

Sols 1095-1098: Laboring away in the Stimson…

4 September 2015

As many of us in the U.S. take a break over Labor Day weekend, Curiosity will be keeping busy by using every instrument in her science payload!  Curiosity is currently making her way towards Bridger Basin and studying the Stimson unit along the way. The weekend 4-sol plan is packed with… Read More

Sol 1094: Turning in to Bridger Basin

3 September 2015

The drive on Sol 1093 went well, and Curiosity drove ~15 m towards Bridger Basin.  In the Sol 1094 plan, we’ll drive for ~30 m to round the turn into the basin, as we continue making our way through the Stimson unit.  These rocks exhibit a lot of beautiful cross-bedding, as seen in… Read More

USGS Scientist Chris Edwards, Solving the Mysteries of Mars’ Atmosphere

3 September 2015

USGS scientist, Chris Edwards, is working to solve the mystery of the disappearance of the Martian atmosphere. From the USGS press release: The modern Martian atmosphere is too thin for liquid water to persist on the surface. A denser atmosphere on ancient Mars could have kept water from… Read More

Sol 1093: Leaving the Williams area

2 September 2015

After successful contact science on the Stimson unit in the Williams area, it’s time to get back on the road.  In today’s plan we’ll finish up a few activities at the Williams area, and then continue on our drive towards Bridger Basin and eventually the Bagnold… Read More

Sol 1092: Stimson Contact Science

1 September 2015

Curiosity is currently investigating an outcrop of the Stimson unit.  On Sol 1091, Curiosity acquired some low-resolution MAHLI images of the targets “Pentagon,” “Lebo,” “Ivanhoe,” and “Ledger” in order to plan more detailed imaging of those… Read More

Sol 1091: Lots of MAHLI targets

31 August 2015

Planning is no longer restricted, but we had to start at 6:00 PDT this morning to give the operations team enough time to uplink commands by the time the rover expects them.  Driving to work before sunrise reminded me of the sometimes odd times we had to wake up during the first 90 sols… Read More

Sols 1089-1090: Stimson is Stunning

28 August 2015

Curiosity is currently making her way through some beautiful exposures of the Stimson unit.  The 6 m drive on Sol 1087 went well, and Curiosity is in a good position for possible contact science early next week. Today we’re planning 2-sols for the weekend (Sunday is a… Read More

Sols 1087-1088: Bright features

26 August 2015

The complex, nearly 39-meter Sol 1085 drive completed successfully, leaving the rover in another target-rich area.  Again, I helped pick targets for ChemCam observations--our favorites were on the brighter parts of the outcrop just south of the rover.  The targets for ChemCam… Read More

Sols 1085-1086: Rough road ahead

24 August 2015

MSL had a good weekend, and returned lots of data including nice MAHLI images of Ravalli.  The nearly 22-meter Sol 1083 drive completed as planned, and placed the rover near some nice rock outcrops.  I helped the planning team select targets for ChemCam observations; we settled on… Read More