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20 June 2017

Sols 1734-1735: Gazing Longingly towards Vera Rubin Ridge

Curiosity continues to drive to the east-northeast around two small patches of dunes that are positioned just north of Vera Rubin Ridge. Once beyond this easternmost dune patch, the plan is for her to turn to the southeast and towards the location identified as the safest place for Curiosity to ascend the ridge.

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18 June 2017

Sols 1732-1733: Marching Ahead towards Vera Rubin Ridge

As this is my first time contributing to the Curiosity rover blog, I’d like to quickly introduce myself to you all. I’m Mark, an MSL Participating Scientist and a faculty member at Northern Arizona University, trained in geochemistry, spectroscopy, and remote sensing. I’m excited to help walk you all through the daily endeavors of this wonderful rover and mission!

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16 June 2017

Sol 1729 – 1731: Roving Right Along

The drive on Sol 1728 was successful, and our weekend plan will be chock-full of activities. On the first sol, we will do some contact science on the rather colorful workspace that is currently in front of the Curiosity rover.

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14 June 2017

Sol 1728 Blog: Remote science and drive on

After a busy day of contact science yesterday, today’s Curiosity rover plan was dedicated towards remote science and driving. As Mastcam PUL-1 today, I was fairly busy helping put together a suite of Mastcam images for Curiosity to take.

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13 June 2017

Sol 1727 Blog: Little bit of everything

After a successful drive, our parking spot included a nice patch of Murray bedrock to allow us to perform contact science (MAHLI and APXS) in today’s plan. Our target for contact science is ‘Jones Marsh,’ a dark patch of the Murray that you can see just above the rightmost corner of Curiosity’s mast shadow in the Navcam image.

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12 June 2017

Sol 1726: First Look at Vera Rubin Ridge

After great anticipation over the last few weeks, the drive in the current plan will bring us into position for stop 1 of our close look at the northern face of the hematite-bearing Vera Rubin Ridge. Mastcam will take a wide mosaic to begin documenting the sedimentary structure of the ridge.

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5 June 2017

Sol 1719: Wait and Hurry Up!

Today was an interesting day of planning: because of an issue with the computer system responsible for processing data once it is received on Earth, Curiosity’s images and other data from Sol 1718 didn’t arrive until well into today’s planning. That meant that we had to keep the plan simple and respond rapidly once the data did arrive. It also meant that we had plenty of time to choose our …

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4 June 2017

Sols 1715-1717: If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing right

Curiosity left no stone unturned, unshot or unbrushed as she wrapped up observations at the stand of gray-toned rocks she arrived at on Sol 1712. We added to yesterday’s rich observations of gray-toned rocks by brushing a nodule-rich target, ‘Timber Point,’ to give MAHLI and APXS as clear a look as possible of the target’s texture and chemistry.

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Sols 1718: Looking East

We are beginning to turn toward the east and southeast as we approach Vera Rubin Ridge with the Curiosity rover. After a busy and successful plan over the weekend, we weighed our priorities between using APXS to study the bedrock we’re driving over or drive farther along our path.

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30 May 2017

Sol 1713: Not enough hours in the sol

Our Tuesday drive placed us perfectly in front of a very interesting outcrop that looked slightly different in color and texture from the typical Murray rocks we’ve been seeing for the last few hundred meters.

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29 May 2017

Sol 1712: Eyes on the prize

Despite the holiday weekend, the science and engineering teams were greeted with a plethora of data from Curiosity when they started planning Sol 1712 – like your birthday and your favorite winter (gift-getting) holiday rolled into one.

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25 May 2017

Sols 1709-1711, "White Ledge"

Curiosity continues to drive through an otherworldly jumble of in-place bedrock, tilted rocks, sand with small ripples, and local pebbly debris piles. Vera Rubin Ridge continues to loom larger in the rover’s forward view, although progress is somewhat slow due to the difficult terrain. Yestersol’s drive was 16 meters.

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Sols 1707-1708: When Mars Gives You Lemons, Calibrate Your Instruments

After Curiosity’s 14.6 m drive, the GEO group decided against arm activities due to a lack of compelling targets and in deference to making the next drive longer. So GEO science activities relied on Mastcam and ChemCam. On Sol 1707, ChemCam will capture a raster of the ‘White Cap Mountain’ bedrock target (the white bedrock left of center in the bottom quarter of the above Navcam image), as well as a …

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21 May 2017

Sols 1702-1704: An island of science

The rover planners parked us in front of the one slab of outcrop – an island among ripples of sand – we could safely drive to from our Sol 1700 position, setting us up to continue our exploration of the Murray formation.

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Planning Sol 1705 – 1706: Rocky Road

Curiosity is continuing to make progress towards Vera Rubin Ridge along the Mt Sharp ascent route.  We planned two sols today, Sol 1705 and Sol 1706.  On our first sol, we will kick off the day with some remote sensing science on the bedrock in front of us, including ChemCam observations of targets ‘Turtle Island’, ‘Stony Brook’, and ‘Dike Peak’.  Turtle Island is typical Murray bedrock, Stony Brook has an …

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18 May 2017

Sols 1700-1701: Optical depth measurements

Curiosity continues towards Vera Rubin Ridge with a 48 m drive. GEO decided for the touch-and-go option (instead of lengthening the drive like on Sol 1684) using APXS and MAHLI on “Ripple Pond,” a typical member of the Murray formation.

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15 May 2017

Sols 1698-1699: It’s Touch and Go on the Climb to Vera Rubin Ridge

The road to Vera Rubin Ridge, a feature believed to be enriched in the mineral hematite, is getting steeper, so we are stopping frequently to study the composition of the bedrock beneath our wheels.

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14 May 2017

Sols 1695 -1697: Observations of land, rover and sky

Curiosity continued her detailed investigation of the interesting suite of outcrops we have been picking our way across during the last week. As we climb up Mount Sharp, recently over slopes of 4-6 degrees, we have seen more varied outcrop structures and chemistries than the rest of the Murray formation, and such changes catch the collective eye of the team.

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9 May 2017

Sol 1692: Science frenzy!

After the drive on Sol 1691, the workspace in front of the Curiosity rover had plenty of interesting rocks in front of us to keep us busy.

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Sol 1691: Stopped Short at Green Nubble

The weekend drive stopped a little bit short of the target, but that’s ok because it put the Curiosity 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 the original drive destination.

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