Astrogeology Science Center

Name Approved for Crater on the Moon: Pierazzo

28 May 2015

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

Sol 998: Contact Science at Marias Pass

27 May 2015

A short bump on Sol 997 put Curiosity in a great position to investigate a few different rock units in Marias Pass, using the instruments on the rover’s arm.  The 2.5 m drive brings our total odometry to 10,599 m.  With the upcoming solar conjunction (Mars will be on the opposite… Read More

Names Approved for Two Montes on Mars

27 May 2015

The IAU Working Group for Planetary System Nomenclature has approved names for two features on Mars: Coprates Montes and Nectaris Montes. For more information, see the Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature.

Sol 997: Preparing for contact science

26 May 2015

Curiosity spent the weekend characterizing the terrain and bedrock exposed in Marias Pass.  Curiosity drove 33 m further into Marias Pass, bringing our total odometry to 10,596 m.   The drive set us up perfectly to investigate the contact between two different types of bedrock… Read More

Sols 993-996: A long weekend at Marias Pass

22 May 2015

On Sol 992 Curiosity took a short drive into Marias Pass to get a better look at the terrain ahead.  The 6 m drive on Sol 992 brought our total odometry to 10,562 m.  It also put Curiosity in a great position for targeted science over the long holiday weekend. The 4 sol plan includes… Read More

Sol 992: Marias Pass

21 May 2015

Curiosity conquered the hill on Sol 991, and we were rewarded with a beautiful view of Marias Pass.  The 22 m drive on Sol 991 brings our total odometry to 10,556 m. In today’s plan, Curiosity will acquire ChemCam and Mastcam observations on the targets “Elk” and… Read More

Sol 991: Taking the high road

20 May 2015

After assessing a few different drive paths to deal with the challenging terrain, the team decided to drive uphill to avoid crossing the ripples near Jocko Butte.  On Sol 990, Curiosity drove 52 m back towards Mt. Shields, which puts our total odometry at 10,533 m.   The goal of… Read More

Sol 990: ChemCam Autofocus Software

19 May 2015

Testing of the new ChemCam automatic focusing software continues to go well--the instrument is returning well-focused data of the quality we got used to early in the mission.  The MAHLI test data acquired on Sol 989 are also looking good; here's an image of the penny in the… Read More

Sol 987-989: Back at Jocko Butte

18 May 2015

The backwards drive on sol 986 was successful, and over the weekend, Curiosity drove back toward “Jocko Butte”. Before the drive on sol 987, ChemCam had a 5x1 observation of the target “Mill”, accompanied by a Mastcam image. Mastcam also took a small 2x2 mosaic of our… Read More

Sol 986: Finding a Path

15 May 2015

We’ve been having trouble with the path we originally wanted to take through the sand toward the interesting geology at “Mt. Stimson”, so in today’s plan we are going to take a careful look around to identify better routes. Mastcam has a 13x3 mosaic in the direction we want… Read More