Astrogeology Science Center

Can we tell what riches asteroids hold for humans in space?

17 May 2017

Until now, asteroid and near-Earth object mining seemed far-fetched but is now transitioning from the realm of science fiction to reality. Three USGS Space Scientists discuss their vision for 2050 including the rationale for Solar System resource assessment and methodology, and essential planetary… Read More

Sol 1691: Stopped Short at Green Nubble

8 May 2017

The weekend drive stopped a little bit short of the target, but that’s ok because it put the rover in reach of some interesting cross-bedded rocks. We decided to do a “touch and go” plan for Sol 1691, quickly analyzing the rocks in front of us and then continuing on to… Read More

Name Approved for Feature on Mars: Gediz Vallis

3 May 2017

The IAU Working Group for Planetary System Nomenclature has approved the name Gediz Vallis for a feature on Mars. For more information, see Mars map MC-23 in the Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature.

Name Approved for Feature on the Moon: Virtanen F

2 May 2017

The IAU Working Group for Planetary System Nomenclature has approved the name Virtanen F for a crater on the Moon. For more information, see Lunar map LAC-68 in the Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature.

Sol 1678: A smooth planning day

25 April 2017

MSL drove another 33 meters on Sol 1677, and again is surrounded by rocky outcrops partly covered by dark sand.  Although Rover Planner support was available for "touch and go" contact science, the GEO science theme group decided that the limited reachable outcrop did not warrant contact… Read More

Change in MSL blogging

24 April 2017

Several non-USGS scientists on the MSL operations team have volunteered to start writing blogs, so JPL is now posting all MSL blogs at their site, e.g.,https://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msl/mission/mars-rover-curiosity-mission-updates/?mu=sol-1674-slipping-into-a-new-planPlease monitor the above site for… Read More

Sol 1671: More Rocks Out the Front Window

17 April 2017

Today I covered the ChemCam Payload Element Lead (PEL) role for this first Monday after Easter. Normally the ChemCam team starts Mondays with a telephone tag-up as we hand over operations between the French and US portions of the team. We alternate doing ChemCam operations from week to… Read More

Sols 1668-1670: Diving into (analysis of) Moosehead Lake

14 April 2017

Our latest drive put us in position in front of the interesting “Moosehead Lake” outcrop with lots of veins and grey patches: plenty to keep Curiosity busy over the weekend! The Sol 1668 plan starts off with a nice long science block. ChemCam has observations of targets “Sheldrake… Read More

Sols 1666-1667: Moosehead Lake

12 April 2017

The Sol 1664 drive was halted after the rover had driven less than 2 meters because the angle of the left bogie slightly exceeded the suspension limit. Such limits are routinely set based on the results of detailed modeling of the vehicle's response to the terrain, so that unexpected conditions… Read More

Sols 1664-1665: Keep on driving

10 April 2017

MSL drove about 24 meters on Sol 1662, and another drive is planned for Sol 1664.  Before the drive, lots of targeted remote sensing is planned:  ChemCam and Right Mastcam will observe a bright rock named "Peaks Island," an exposure of bedding dubbed "Great Wass Island," a sand… Read More