Our drive went nicely and we are already about halfway to our next drill site! Our original plan to head toward an outcrop called “Karasburg” had to be changed because it turned out to be covered in sand and not very steep, making it a less-desirable science target. So instead we are… Read More
MSL drove over 87 meters on Sol 1468, toward an outcrop named "Karasburg." The Sol 1469 plan includes another drive toward Karasburg, after ChemCam and Mastcam sample a local bedrock target named "Cacolo" and a patch of brighter material dubbed "Malembo." Mastcam will also acquire… Read More
The IAU Working Group for Planetary System Nomenclature has approved the name Taltal for a crater on Mars. For more information, see the map for MC-24 in the Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature.
The activities planned for Sol 1466 are going well so far--the only problem is that the ChemCam observation of the Quela drill hole wall is slightly out of focus. So we'll try again on Sol 1467 with slightly modified ChemCam command parameters. We're planning two sols today, and… Read More
The second attempt to drill into Quela was successful, but there was a timing issue during sample manipulation in CHIMRA that resulted in premature halting of the Sol 1465 sequence. So on Sol 1466 we'll pick up where MSL stopped and sieve the new sample, dump the unsieved fraction, and… Read More
The IAU Working Group for Planetary System Nomenclature has approved names for 14 craters on Ceres: Aristaeus, Begbalel, Braciaca, Cacaguat, Centeotl, Duginavi, Hakumyi, Hatipowa, Ialonus, Kiriamma, Laukumate, Megwomets, Razeka, and Xochipilli. For more information, see the Ceres map in the… Read More
Unfortunately the Sol 1461 drilling activities did not complete as expected, so the Sol 1462 plan was focused on trying to understand the problem while also doing some remote sensing. The plan starts off with Mastcam multispectral observations of the target “Ekunha” on the nearby… Read More
After doing the drill diagnostics, the team has decided to try drilling at Quela again over the weekend. Sol 1463 will start with ChemCam of some pebbles called “Omusati” and some veins called “Didimbo”. Mastcam will document both targets, and then do a tau measurement to… 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 #38. Mapped Images: 1929. Unmapped Images: 1. Please visit PILOT to access/download the new release.
It’s always an exciting day on Mars when you prepare to drill another sample – an engineering feat that we’ve become so accustomed to that I sometimes forget how impressive this really is! Today’s plan just looks like a “typical” drill sol. First… Read More