Astrogeology Science Center

Sol 1904-1905: Curiosity's Arm Workout

15 December 2017

I was on downlink for ChemCam on Wednesday, so I was busy analyzing the latest data while the uplink team decided what to do for sols 1904 and 1905. We had some nice data, including a gorgeous image of a finely-layered rock named "Trotternish" (shown above).The sol 1904 plan started with some… Read More

Wonder No More: Back to the Moon We Go!

12 December 2017

Inquiring minds have wanted to know if astronauts will ever go back to the Moon, and if so, when? Neil Armstrong’s words “The eagle has landed" were uttered 45 years ago. Astronauts Gene Cernan and Jack Schmitt took the most recent American steps on the Moon, in 1972. Twelve astronauts… Read More

Sols 1899-1901: SAM Evolved Gas Analysis

8 December 2017

The plan for this weekend is to finish up the investigation of Vera Rubin Ridge stop #9 and drive toward the next stop.  On Sol 1899, Mastcam will acquire multispectral observations of possibly hematite-rich outcrops at "Farr" and the Sol 1897 contact science target "Wick."  Both… Read More

Name Approved for Feature on Mars: Olympus Maculae

29 November 2017

The IAU Working Group for Planetary System Nomenclature approved the name Olympus Maculae for a group of dark spots on Mars. For more information, see Mars map MC-8 in the Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature.

This Software Rocks for Processing Planetary Data

22 November 2017

The Integrated System for Imagers and Spectrometers (ISIS) is one of the most reliable specialty software packages designed for cartographic and scientific processing of images acquired from NASA and other science missions. This software rocks and it’s free. Although many planetary… Read More

Sols 1868-1869: Hello gorgeous

6 November 2017

It was a good weekend on Mars.  Curiosity spent the weekend exploring a beautiful outcrop of sedimentary rocks (shown in the above image) as part of our continued investigation of the middle and upper parts of Vera Rubin Ridge.  Images like these will help us figure out the environment in… Read More

Names Approved for Six Cavi and a Tholus on Mars

7 November 2017

The IAU Working Group for Planetary System Nomenclature approved names for seven features on Mars: Dalu Cavus, Layl Cavus, Malam Cavus, Nat Cavus, Noc Cavus, Usiku Cavus, and Noctis Tholus. For more information, see Mars map MC-17 in the Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature.

Dawn Spacecraft Contribution and Fate

30 October 2017

Halloween day prompts a chilling question: If you were a spacecraft, which fate would you prefer? Would you choose to remain in a stable orbit forever around Ceres or would you prefer to crash into Saturn and burn? The Cassini spacecraft crashed into Saturn and was engulfed in flames in… Read More

Name Approved for Crater on Mars: Kotido

24 October 2017

The IAU Working Group for Planetary System Nomenclature has approved the name Kotido for a crater on Mars. For more information, see Mars map MC-11 in the Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature.

Sols 1852-1853: Feeding SAM some sand

20 October 2017

MSL drove over 20 meters on Sol 1850, to an area with lots of bedrock exposed.  We had several nice targets to choose from, but were limited in what we could plan because we want to prepare for a SAM evolved gas analysis (EGA) of sand from "Ogunquit Beach," which requires significant… Read More