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8 May 2017

Sol 1688 – 1690: Sand between our grousers

We’ve been getting some really interesting data down from our investigation of a large sand drift (megaripple), so we packed in many more observations to assess the full variability of the sandy materials before driving away and continuing our climb up Mt. Sharp.

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6 May 2017

Sol 1687: Mega-science at a megaripple!

The Curiosity rover planners executed another great drive to park us in front of a megaripple in order to study its physical and chemical characteristics, which we can compare and contrast to the sands we investigated during our recent Bagnold dune campaign.

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3 May 2017

Sol 1686: March to the Megaripples

Continuing the steady march up Mt. Sharp, Curiosity drove 18.3 m to bring us closer to a series of features being called megaripples, which are darker and larger ripples than were seen on the Bagnold Dunes.

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2 May 2017

Sol 1685: Touch and Go or Just Go (Again)?

Planning rover science activities is a dynamic process. Unlike yestersol’s plan, the Geology Theme Group decided to include an APXS and MAHLI “touch-and-go” in the plan, carrying out valuable contact science on the layered Murray bedrock.

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1 May 2017

Sol 1684: Touch and Go or Just Go?

Today was a day of tradeoffs. Should Curiosity focus on driving to get to a higher priority target sooner, or conduct contact science at the current location?

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30 April 2017

Sol 1681-1683: Kicking the Tires

After a drive of almost 29 meters, we are parked at a site suitable for a busy plan full of contact science on the Murray formation. GEO focused mainly on characterizing nearby flagstone – “Duck Brook Bridge” was like the typical Murray formation that was tan in color, and “Cliffside Bridge” and “Waterfall Bridge” were more coarse-grained and gray.

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27 April 2017

Sol 1680: Mesmerized by the Murray Formation

After a 30 meter drive on Sol 1679, we find ourselves near diverse outcrops of the Murray formation. We plan to drive on today across the Murray formation towards Vera Rubin Ridge.

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25 April 2017

Sol 1679: Another day of TAG (Touch and Go)

Our drive yestersol went as planned and added another 28.3 meters to Curiosity’s odometer. The science team was pleased to see that more interesting outcrop would be reachable by Curiosity’s arm from our new location, so we decided to plan contact science followed by an afternoon drive in the Sol 1679 plan.

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Sol 1678: A smooth planning day

Curiosity drove another 33 meters on Sol 1677, and again is surrounded by rocky outcrops partly covered by dark sand.

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23 April 2017

Sol 1677: Some Murray in hand

This morning we woke up to fresh images from Curiosity that showed our surroundings after an ~17 m Sunday afternoon drive. I always really enjoy days like this because, even after 1,676 sols and just under 16.1 kilometers of driving, it still thrills me to look at images from unexplored areas of Mars.

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20 April 2017

Sol 1674: Slipping into a new plan

In the Sol 1673 drive, the rover planners aimed us for a nice curb of Murray bedrock which we could investigate with targeted science (with Mastcam and ChemCam) and contact science (with APXS, MAHLI and the dust removal tool (DRT)) over the weekend.

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19 April 2017

Sol 1673: Planning with plenty of "Moxie"

There’s nothing like a day of technical difficulties to make you appreciate when it all works! The science team bounced back from yesterday’s challenging planning day with a vengeance, planning an amazingly full suite of observations of the rock – and sky! – around us.

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18 April 2017

Sol 1672: If it weren’t for the last minute, nothing would get done!

On Tuesday, the science team had a “soliday”, a day without planning to allow the time when the science team plans activities on Earth to realign favorably with when the rover is ready to accept and execute those plans.

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17 April 2017

Sol 1671: More Rocks Out the Front Window

Meanwhile, back on Mars, Curiosity nailed the 34 meter drive to another rock exposure identified in orbital images. Ever since we observed possible mud cracks at Old Soaker the rover team has been pursuing the idea that Curiosity is exploring strata that represent occasional dry-lake periods.

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14 April 2017

Sols 1666-1667: Moosehead Lake

Curiosity’s drive on Sol 1664 was halted after the rover had driven less than 2 meters because the angle of the left bogie slightly exceeded the suspension limit.

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Sols 1664-1665: Keep on driving

The Curiosity rover 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…

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4 April 2017

Sols 1654-1656 MAHLI imaging of OG1 and remote sensing

Today’s three-sol plan starts with MAHLI imaging of the first scoop location (OG1). The first sol also includes Mastcam and MARDI imaging for change detection.

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30 March 2017

Sol 1653: Targeted science at Ogunquit Beach

Yesterday afternoon the downlink included some results of ongoing drill feed diagnostics that warrant a further look before proceeding with the dune campaign, so the arm activities from Sol 1652 were pulled from the plan and we did not drop-off to CheMin. But we did receive some beautiful images of scoop OG1, as shown in the above Mastcam image.

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29 March 2017

Sol 1652: CheMin drop-off and SAM Analysis

Sol 1651 activities executed nominally, so today’s plan is focused on dropping off the fine-grained portion of “Ogunquit Beach” Scoop #1 (now named “OG1”) to CheMin, and SAM analysis of OG1.

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Sol 1651: Scoop #1 at Ogunquit Beach

Sol 1650 activities completed as expected, so it’s time to start scooping. Today’s plan is focused on acquiring Scoop #1 and dropping off a portion of the sample to SAM.

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